COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 INFORMATION

Last updated: 06/16/2021


Requirements for travel to the United States

Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Click here for information on testing locations in Switzerland by canton. Check the CDC website for additional information on testing requirements. 

International travelers are required to adhere to CDC quarantine recommendations. Information on quarantine requirements can be found here.  

Country-Specific Information:

 

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.

 

 

Keep your distance

 

 

Wash your hands regularly

 

 

Reduce contact with other people

 

 

Work from home if possible

Federal Measures:

 

The table below shows what nationwide rules apply as of May 31, 2021.

Please note that the cantons may have stricter rules.

 

 

    • 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/


Entry and Exit Requirements:

 

The Swiss Government maintains two lists of high risk countries. 

  1. List of high risk countries issued by the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) governs the Entry requirements.
  2. List of high risk countries issued by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) governs the quarantine and testing requirements 

At this time, the United States are on the list for entry restrictions (SEM), but not on the list for quarantine requirements (FOPH).

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? NO, only in cases of special necessity. 
    • Transiting Switzerland from the United States to another country may not be possible depending on the final destination.  Currently the Swiss Immigration Office does not allow individuals traveling from the United States or other high risk countries to transit Switzerland to another Schengen country, unless all entry requirements for Switzerland have been met.  It may be possible to transit Switzerland from the United States or other high risk country to a non-Schengen country.  Passengers transiting Switzerland from a high risk country, like the United States, to a Schengen country have been denied onward travel and returned to their country of origin. Travelers from high risk countries like the United States are encouraged to travel directly to their final Schengen destination without transiting Switzerland.  For the most current restrictions and travel requirements, please see the FAQ page and the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration Office information page.

      In response to the COVID-19 pandemic there are special rules for people entering Switzerland. Depending on the type of travel, you might have to fill out an entry form, show proof of a negative test and/or go into quarantine.


      The electronic entry form for incoming travelers is available at swissplf.admin.ch. Important: Fill out the form before your entry to Switzerland. Visit the FOPH Website for additional information regarding the entry form, testing and quarantine.
    • A Note on Border Openings and International Travel:
      Transiting Switzerland from the United States to another country may not be possible depending on the final destination.  Currently the Swiss Immigration Office does not allow individuals traveling from the United States or other high risk countries to transit Switzerland to another Schengen country, unless all entry requirements for Switzerland have been met.  It may be possible to transit Switzerland from the United States or other high risk country to a non-Schengen country.  Passengers transiting Switzerland from a high risk country, like the United States, to a Schengen country have been denied onward travel and returned to their country of origin. Travelers from high risk countries like the United States are encouraged to travel directly to their final Schengen destination without transiting Switzerland.
    • Following the discovery of a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus in the UK and South Africa, the Federal Council today decided to take steps to prevent the further spread of this new virus strain. All persons who have entered Switzerland from these two countries since December 14 must go into quarantine for 10 days. The Federal Council has also introduced a general entry ban from today for all foreign nationals seeking to enter Switzerland from the UK and South Africa.
    • As of June 15, Switzerland has lifted all COVID-19 related entry restrictions for travelers from other Schengen countries. The Swiss government has not announced a date when Switzerland will lift the current entry restrictions for U.S. citizens.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? YES
    • As of April 5, 2021, the United States are no longer considered a country of high risk infection.
    • Persons arriving in Switzerland from a country or region with a high risk of infection must present valid proof of a negative PCR test result that is no more than 72 hours old.
    • All persons arriving by air even from a country that is not considered high risk must be able to show a negative PCR test result before boarding the plane.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? YES

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 
    • As of April 5, 2021, the United States are no longer considered a country of high risk infection.

 


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 will be committing an offence; persons who fail to comply with the rules may be fined between 50 and 200 francs or higher, depending on the offence. For example, anyone who does not wear a mask on public transport, in stations, at a bus or tram stop or in and immediately outside publicly accessible buildings may be fined. A fixed penalty may also be issued to persons attending banned events 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. 
  • Visa Unit
    Limited services.  The travel restrictions from Schengen countries to the United States under Presidential Proclamation 9984 still apply.  U.S. Embassy Bern recommends that individuals who meet one of the categorial exemptions under the PP 9984 (i.e. spouse of U.S. citizen/LPR, parent of U.S. citizen/LPR child, etc.) apply for a B1/B2 visa in order to document that they meet the exemption. If you are planning to travel to the U.S., please visit the CDC’s Website for Travelers.

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)