COVID-19 Information


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COVID-19 INFORMATION

Last updated: 12/03/2021


Requirements for travel to the United States

Starting December 6, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination or citizenship status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States. Non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers will still be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of their vaccination status. Until December 6, the rules below apply.

Effective November 8, 2021, all non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are eligible to travel but are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test one (1) day before their flight. U.S citizens and LPRs who are fully vaccinated will need to present airlines with proof of vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test three (3) days before their flight.

Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis.  Please contact your nearest embassy or consulate to apply for an exemption.  Please visit the CDC webpages for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Click here for information on testing locations in Switzerland by canton. Check the CDC website for additional information on testing requirements. 

Country-Specific Information:

 

Before you travel to Switzerland, visit the Swiss Government Travel Check Website to verify if you can enter Switzerland: https://travelcheck.admin.ch/home

The measures put in place to address the spread of the coronavirus are subject to change, and we recommend confirming directly with Swiss authorities for the most current information. For more details please visit the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

Federal Measures:

 

The nationwide COVID-19 Rules until December 6:

All travelers to Switzerland must follow these guidelines.

 

 

    • Cantonal measures
      Cantons may have additional cantonal specific measures. You will find a collection of links to cantonal information sites at www.ch.ch

 


COVID-19 Testing:

 

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Switzerland and LiechtensteinYES 
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? YES
    • You can find the most up-to-date information on COVID testing in Switzerland and Liechtenstein through the Swiss Office of Public Health. 
    • Waivers to the testing requirements for travel to the United States may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis. Please go here for more information.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

 

  • Has the government of Switzerland and Liechtenstein approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  YES
  • Are vaccines available in Switzerland and Liechtenstein for U.S. citizens to receive? YES
  • Which vaccines are available in Switzerland and Liechtenstein?
    • Pfizer/BioNTech: 6 million vaccine doses
    • Moderna: 13.5 million vaccine doses
    • Curevac: 5 milion vaccine doses
    • AstraZeneca: 5.3 million vaccine doses
    • Novavax: 6 million vaccine doses

All vaccines are thoroughly checked by Swissmedic

  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. 
    • You can find the most up-to-date information on COVID testing in Switzerland and Liechtenstein through the Swiss Office of Public Health. 
    • You can register with your cantonal authority for vaccination through this site.
    • National COVID-19 vaccination info-line (every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.): +41 58 377 88 92
  • Veterans registered under the Foreign Medical Program are authorized to receive a COVID vaccine (even non-FDA approved versions) and be reimbursed. This would require they sign-up/receive a vaccine through Swiss authorities https://foph-coronavirus.ch/vaccination/when-can-i-be-vaccinated/#cantons). They should call the toll-free VA contact number (+1 877-345-8179) for more information/to confirm this individually. (source: https://www.va.gov/communitycare/programs/veterans/fmp/index.asp)

    Veterans eligible to receive care from military facilities (retirees and medical retirees, for example) can contact Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to see if they are currently eligible for a vaccine (it is likely that they will have to wait until after higher tier groups become vaccinated) https://landstuhl.tricare.mil/

 


Swiss COVID-19 Certificate

 

The COVID certificate provides documentary evidence that you have had a COVID-19 vaccination, have had and recovered from the disease or have tested negative. You can store the COVID certificate in paper form or in the COVID Certificate app (download free from the Apple App StoreGoogle Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery.).

The COVID certificate is required for Indoor hospitality venues (Restaurants, Bars, Clubs), cultural sporting and leisure activities (Museums, Zoos, Fitness-Studios, Cinema, etc.) and Indoor events  (Weddings, Concerts, Sport Events, etc..) as well as large scale events of over 1’000 individuals.

You can request a Swiss COVID certificate if you are visiting and if you have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine that is authorized in Switzerland.
Visit the National COVID Certificate application platform to request a COVID-19 Certificate. 

Please note that the Pfizer vaccine is also known as the BioNTech/Comirnaty (Pfizer is not listed in the drop down menu on the form, but BioNTech/Comirnaty is listed).

Important: Your U.S. vaccination card needs to be properly issued and include an official stamp and signature from the administering authority. If your vaccination card is not properly issued please contact the issuing office.


Entry and Exit Requirements:

 

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? YES, only if fully vaccinated and with proof of vaccination. Visit the Swiss Government Travel Check Website to verify if you can enter Switzerland: https://travelcheck.admin.ch/home

As of December 6, 2021 – Tightening of entry rules: testing for arrivals

§ On arrival in Switzerland, people over age 16 must present a negative test result (rapid antigen or PCR test). This also applies to vaccinated and recovered persons.

§ Everyone (also children) must complete the entry form. This also applies to vaccinated and recovered persons.

§ Those entering Switzerland must report to the cantonal authority immediately: Contact details for the cantonal authorities.

§ In addition, a PCR or rapid antigen test must be conducted between day 4 and 7 after entry. The cantonal authority must be informed of the result of the second test and the number of the entry form must be sent.

U.S. citizens WITHOUT proof of a recognized vaccination who want to enter Switzerland from a SEM high-risk country and who do not meet any of the requirements under “Who can enter Switzerland?” (see below) are NOT permitted to enter Switzerland.

ONLY fully vaccinated U.S travelers with proof of vaccination and negative PCR test may enter for any reason including tourism.

Unvaccinated U.S. citizens CANNOT enter Switzerland for the following reasons:

  • Persons who wish to obtain services in Switzerland;
  • Tourists, visitors and participants in events;
  • Persons who wish to come to Switzerland for medical treatment that has not yet begun or that is not regarded as urgently required;
  • Persons seeking employment or who have been invited for a job interview in Switzerland;
  • Persons who wish to submit an application for a residence permit.

Who can enter Switzerland?

Even if you are arriving from a high-risk country, you can still enter Switzerland if you meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • You have Swiss citizenship.
  • You hold a travel document (e.g. a passport or identity card) and:
    • • a Swiss residence permit (L / B / C / Ci permit);
    • • a cross-border permit (G permit),
    • • an FDFA legitimation card;
    • • a D visa issued by Switzerland;
    • • a C visa issued by Switzerland after 16 March 2020 in a valid exceptional case or in order to work on a short-term contract;
    • • an assurance of a residence permit
    • • confirmation of notification for the cross-border provision of services up to 90 days in any calendar year (e.g. UK nationals).
  • You hold a refugee’s or stateless person’s travel document issued by Switzerland, a passport for foreign nationals issued by Switzerland, a valid residence or permanent residence permit or an F-Permit.
  • You have rights of free movement. If you require a visa, a valid Schengen C-visa, a valid D-visa or a valid Schengen residence permit are sufficient. (See “Who has rights of free movement?”)
  • You are in a situation of special necessity (see below). The border control authority will assess the necessity of the situation.
  • You can prove that you have been vaccinated with a recognized vaccine (see “How can I prove that I am vaccinated?”). In this case, you can also enter with a valid Schengen visa issued by any Schengen-state before March 16, 2020.
  • You are under 18 and are travelling with an adult who has been fully vaccinated (parents, siblings, grandparents or other caregivers).
  • You are simply travelling directly through Switzerland with the intention and possibility of entering another country. (see ‘Travelling through Switzerland’)

You must be able to prove that you meet the abovementioned requirements. Suitable documentary proof must be produced at the border or when you apply for a visa.

Please note that the airlines themselves decide on the conditions on which they carry passengers. If this is relevant to your situation, please ask the airline concerned about the conditions that they apply.

 

    • TRANSIT Through Switzerland
  • Is it still be possible to travel through Switzerland?

    The following rules apply to travelling through Switzerland to another country:
    Transit from a Schengen state to other Schengen state
    Entry from a Schengen state for the purpose of travelling on to another Schengen state is possible for anyone who is lawfully present in the Schengen area.
    Transit from a Schengen state to a third country
    Entry from a Schengen state for the purpose of travelling on to a state outside the Schengen area is possible for anyone who is lawfully present in the Schengen area.
    Transit from a third country considered by the SEM to be high-risk to a Schengen state
    Third-country citizens holding a residence document or a visa type D for their destination country in the Schengen area are permitted to travel through Switzerland to that country.
    The normal requirements for entering Switzerland apply.

    It is only possible to enter Switzerland from a high-risk country in order to travel on to another Schengen state for a short stay of up to 90 days if you can prove that you have been vaccinated (see “How can I prove that I am vaccinated?”). Persons under 18 may enter Switzerland if they are travelling with an adult who has been vaccinated.
    Otherwise the normal requirements for entering Switzerland apply.

    If you have not been vaccinated, but your destination country in the Schengen area has authorized your entry for a short stay of up to 90 days, you may only enter the Schengen area by travelling directly to your destination country (i.e. you may not travel though Switzerland).
    Transit from a third country not considered by the SEM to be high-risk to a Schengen state
    When entering Switzerland from a third country that is not considered high-risk in order to travel on to another Schengen state, the normal requirements for entering Switzerland apply.
    Transit from a third country considered by the SEM to be high-risk to another third country
    It is not possible to enter Switzerland from a third country that is considered high-risk in order to travel on to another country outside the Schengen area, unless transiting through Zurich or Geneva airport. Travelers should check whether they require a transit visa. In such cases, travelers do not actually enter Switzerland but remain in the transit area of the airport.
    Transit visa requirements: Passport and visa requirements not depending on citizenship (PDF, 337 kB, 18.03.2021)
    Transit from a third country not considered by the SEM to be high-risk to another third country
    Entry into Switzerland from a third country which is not on the SEM high-risk list for onward travel to another country outside the Schengen area is possible subject to the normal entry and transit requirements (N.B. a transit visa may be required).

  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? YES. 
    • All persons arriving in Switzerland must be able to show a negative PCR test result before boarding the plane.  A second PCR or antigen test must be taken within four to seven days of arrival in Switzerland.

Please also note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Switzerland due to COVID-19.


Movement Restrictions:

 

  • Is a curfew in place? NO
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? NO

Quarantine Information:

 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? NO.


Transportation Options:

 

  • Are commercial flights operating? YES
    • International commercial flight options currently exist in Switzerland.  

      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.
      Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website, the CDC Website, as well as the CDC Travel Planner regarding the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the United States.

      For more information visit Embassy Bern’s COVID19 Information Page FAQs.

  • Is public transportation operating? YES
    • Persons over the age of 12 are required to wear a mask in trains, trams, and buses, as well as on mountain rail and cableways and on lake and river boats.

Fines for Non-Compliance:

 

  • Anyone contravening the measures to fight the epidemic is committing an offence; persons who fail to comply with the rules may be fined between 50 and 200 francs, depending on the offence. For example, anyone who does not wear a mask in the enclosed areas of public vehicles, in enclosed railway stations and in publicly accessible buildings may be fined. A fixed penalty may also be issued to persons attending banned events, breaching the requirement for a certificate or holding an unpermitted private event.


Consular Operations:

 

  • American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit
    Although services for U.S. citizens are still limited, passport production has resumed.  Visit our website to apply for a U.S. passport or U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad as well as Notarial Services.  Appointments are available at the U.S. Embassy in Bern and the consular agencies in Geneva and Zurich. 

Any person entering the consular section 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.


Local Resources:

 


Assistance:

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

American Citizens Services Unit
Visa Unit

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)