COVID-19 Information for Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Ask a COVID-19 Question


For all Alerts and Messages from the U.S. Embassy Bern, please click here


COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR SWITZERLAND AND LIECHTENSTEIN

 


Country-Specific Information:

 

Swiss authorities still categorize the situation in Switzerland as extraordinary under the terms of the Swiss Epidemics Act. Swiss authorities now further ease these measures as long as certain precautionary measures are respected (see ease of measures below).

Number COVID-19 cases in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (per May 29, 2020 at 8 am)

Confirmed Cases: 30,828

Confirmed Deaths: 1,657
Source: Federal Office of Public Health


Consular Services:

 

The U.S. Embassy in Bern and the Consular Agencies (Zurich and Geneva) remain closed for routine consular services.  At this time, we can only offer limited emergency services in Bern.  Please visit the Embassy’s website for more information on services that we are able to provide and for any updates. 

Any person entering the consular section for an emergency appointment will be required to wear a face covering; children under six years old and those unable to wear a covering are exempt from this requirement.


Ease of mesures:

 

As of 6 June, the Swiss Authorities will further relax restrictive measures. Many leisure, entertainment and sports activities currently restricted will then be permitted. 

For a complete list of open/permitted activities please visit the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health 

Permitted from 28 May

All forms of religious services and religious celebrations, privately or in a community (Requirement: Attendance list of all participants)

Permitted from 30 May 

Gatherings in public of groups of up to 30 people (in public spaces, promenades and parks) 

 Open or permitted from 6 June 

  • Establishments such as casinos, amusement parks, animal parks, zoos and botanic gardens, spas, swimming pools 
  • Summer tourism businesses such as campsites, mountain rail and cableways, toboggan runs, bike tracks and rope parks 
  • Holiday camps for up to 300 children and young people 
  • Activities such as pool, darts and live music performances 
  • Visits to restaurants for groups of more than 4 people 
  • Political and civil society demonstrations of up to 300 people 
  • Classroom teaching at upper secondary and vocational schools, higher education and other educational institutions 
  • Sports training involving physical contact such as wrestling, boxing, American football and rugby 
  • Sports competitions with up to 300 people 
  • Events with up to 300 people 

 Permitted from 15 June 

Border crossings to and from Germany, France and Austria 

 Prospective easing of additional measures 

The Federal Council will decide on events for up to 1000 people and the easing of further restrictions on 24 June. Large-scale events with more than 1000 people continue to be prohibited until 31 August. 

 Still prohibited 

  • Sports competitions involving close physical contact 
  • Gatherings in public of groups of more than 30 people 
  • Events with more than 300 people, including political and civil society demonstrations 

For a complete list of open/permitted activities please visit the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health 

All businesses and institutions must put in place a set of precautionary measures and everyone must observe hygiene and social distancing rules.

It is recommended that teleworking continues until further notice.

Everyone must continue to abide by the hygiene and social distancing rules.
https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov.html

People at especially high risk are:

  • those over the age of 65
  • and those who have one of the following conditions in particular:
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Chronic respiratory diseases
    • Conditions and therapies that weaken the immune system
    • Cancer

People at especially high risk should work from home. If that is not possible, they are to be placed on leave by their employers, but will continue to receive their pay.


Flights to the U.S.:


Flights to the United States from Switzerland

International commercial flight options currently exist in Switzerland. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in Switzerland and Liechtenstein at this time.

Direct flights: There is only one remaining direct flight from Switzerland to the United States in operation, the Zurich to Newark route operated by Swiss International Air Lines. This flight is currently scheduled 3 times a week, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, however this may change it any time and without prior notice.  The flight can be booked directly through Swiss or most travel arrangers.

Swiss International has announced plans to resume additional direct flights from Zurich to the United States in June, as follows: Zurich to New York (JFK) 4 times a week (days to be determined); and Zurich to Chicago 2 times a week (days to be determined).

Transit flights: Many countries have closed their national borders.  Travelers flying to the U.S. by transiting through a third country should work directly with the airline to confirm that they are allowed to transit.

The Department of State does not endorse any private company and assumes no responsibility or liability for services provided by private companies.


Entry and Exit Requirements:

Generally, all foreign nationals who wish to enter Switzerland and do not hold a valid residence or work permit will be refused entry. 

 Exceptions are possible and new categories for cases of special necessity are added regularly. In cases of special necessity, it is possible to enter Switzerland despite the entry ban. For a full list of persons exempted by the entry ban please visit the website of the Swiss Migration Authority (SEM). 

 Business Travelers 

There is the possibility to enter Switzerland for important business appointments which cannot be postponed and have to be in person. At the moment a special entry permit is needed to enter Switzerland for business travel. This application can be sent directly to corona@sem.admin.ch, including for example the following documents: appointment confirmation, copy of passport, travel itinerary, reason for urgency of appointment/visit, and the reason for the need to be present personally. 

 Permitted from 15 June 

A general opening of borders between Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria. The relevant ministries agreed to lift all travel restrictions between their respective countries from 15 June if the pandemic situation permits. 

 Border to Germany and Austria 

Switzerland has reached an agreement with Germany and Austria to relax certain restrictions on border traffic effective May 16. The agreement applies – subject to normal entry requirements – irrespective of nationality.  For a list of specific purposes of travel that are permitted please visit the website of the Swiss Migration Authority (SEM)The reason for entry must be credibly explained in a printed and signed self-declaration. 

 By 6 July: Travel restrictions to be lifted for all Schengen states 

If developments with respect to the pandemic in Switzerland and in the Schengen Area permit, restrictions on entering, working, and living in Switzerland will start to be lifted beginning in mid-June with the complete free movement of persons across the Schengen Area re-established by July 6.  

Travel restrictions for Third Countries (incl. USA) 

Travel restrictions remain in effect for third countries, including the United States.  The Federal Council will decide on lifting entry restrictions for third countries, including the United States, at a later date and in consultation with the Schengen member states. 

 For questions on entry requirements and permitted stay please visit the website of the Swiss Migration Authority (SEM) 


Quarantine Information:

There aren’t any quarantined locations at this time.
However, the Swiss Federal Council has urgently called upon the entire population to stay at home.


Local Resources:

Federal Office of Public Health (English)
Federal Office of Public Health (German – most frequently updated)


Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Bern, Switzerland
031 357 70 11 (dialing within Switzerland)
+41 31 357 70 11 (dialing from overseas)
BernACS@state.gov

State Department
Bureau of Consular Affairs
+1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada)
+1-202-501-4444 (from other countries)·

Swiss Federal Office of Public Health Hotline
+41 58 463 00 00 (staffed 24 hours in German, French, Italian and English)