COVID-19 Information for Switzerland and Liechtenstein


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COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR SWITZERLAND AND LIECHTENSTEIN

 


Event:

 

Swiss authorities are now categorizing the condition in Switzerland as an ‘extraordinary situation’ under the Swiss Epidemics Act.


Country-Specific Information:

 

The number of cases is increasing rapidly. The entire population is affected and is urgently called upon to stay at home.

Number COVID-19 cases in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (per April 4, 2020 at 8 am)

Confirmed Cases: 20,278
Confirmed Deaths: 540
Source: Federal Office of Public Health

Stay at home!

Only leave the home if absolutely necessary. That means:

  • If you have to purchase groceries.
  • If you have to go to the doctor or the pharmacy.
  • If you have to help someone.
  • If you are unable to work from home and you have to go to work.

Swiss authorities urge residents not to travel over Easter weekend.

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.

Gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited

Police presence will be increased throughout Switzerland and Liechtenstein this weekend to enforce social distancing measures.

Gatherings in public spaces of more than 5 people are prohibited. This includes public spaces such as public squares, park, playgrounds, walking paths, etc. If five or fewer people meet, they must maintain a distance of 2 meters from one another. Anyone not complying with this rule will be fined.

Ban on all public and private events:

Swiss Authorities have banned public and private events. This also includes sporting events and club activities. All establishments open to the public will be closed. The ban does not apply to stores /business that provide products/service deemed essential (e.g. grocery stores, pharmacies, banks). For a full list visit the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

Hospitals, clinics, medical and dental practices may not conduct non-urgent procedures and treatments. A failure to adhere to the enacted bans is punishable by a custodial sentence of up to three years or by a fine.

Schools Closed:
Classroom teaching is banned at schools, universities and other training and educational institutions. The ban will apply until 19 April 2020.

Public Transport significantly reduced:

Basic public transport will be guaranteed, however train and bus services across Switzerland have been reduced significantly. If you have to take public transport please check the online schedule on www.sbb.ch.


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.

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:

As of March 26, the Swiss entry ban now applies to all countries except Liechtenstein. It also applied to air and land entry points.  Any foreign nationals who wish to enter Switzerland and do not hold a valid residence or work permit will be refused entry.

The border control authority will not allow you to enter Switzerland unless you meet as least one of the following requirements:

a. You are a Swiss citizen.
b. You hold a travel document and a residence permit, i.e. a Swiss residence permit (permits L / B / C / Ci), a cross-border permit (G permit), a visa D issued by Switzerland or a visa C issued by Switzerland for the purpose of attending professional consultations as a health sector specialist or for making an official visit of vital importance or an assurance of resident permit.
c. You have rights under the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons, have a work-related reason for entering Switzerland and have official documentation to confirm this (Meldebestätigung / attestation d’annonce).
d. You are transporting goods for commercial purposes and have a delivery order for your merchandise.
e. Immediate Transit: You are simply travelling directly through Switzerland to another country that you are permitted to enter.
f. You need to enter Switzerland because of a serious emergency, for example in the event of the death of a close family member.
g. You are a specialist in the healthcare sector and need to enter Switzerland for important professional reasons.

You must be able to prove that you meet the above mentioned requirements. The border control authority will assess whether a situation is an emergency in terms of letter f.
Source: Swiss Migration Office SEM

Many Swiss border crossing have been closed. If you do meet one of the exceptions and do need to cross the border please be prepared for significant delays.

For a list of open Swiss border-crossings please visit the website of the Swiss Federal Customs Administration

U.S. Mission employees are advised to avoid crossing the border into France due to extended delays and screening. Travelers into France must complete this attestation. (PDF 31KB)

 Because of the Coronavirus my flight was cancelled and I cannot leave or enter Switzerland – what do I have to do?


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)