The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Switzerland due to COVID-19.
For all Alerts and Messages from the U.S. Embassy Bern, please click here
Travel to the United States
- As of January 26, all air passengers age 2 and older traveling to the United States must get tested within 72 hours of the flight for COVID-19 and provide proof of the negative result prior to boarding.
- Non-essential travel to the United States is strongly discouraged. All travelers should adhere to local restrictions when in the United States such as mask requirements, quarantine restrictions and COVID test procedures.
- All travelers to the United States are required to adhere to CDC quarantine recommendations.
Is a negative COVID-19 test required?
YES. CDC requires all air passengers age 2 and older traveling to the United States to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result to the airline before boarding the flight. Air passengers who have had a positive viral test for COVID-19 in the past 3 months, and have met the criteria to end isolation, may travel instead with documentation of their positive viral test results and a letter from their healthcare provider or a public health official that states they have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.” For more information on this testing requirement, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions.
What type of COVID-19 test is required to travel to the United States?
Where can I get tested in Switzerland?
I am only transiting the United States. Do I need a COVID-19 test?
YES. Any passenger two years of age and older on a flight traveling to the United States, even for a connection, will require a negative test prior to boarding the flight.
I have been vaccinated. Do I still have to take the COVID-19 test?
I already had COVID-19. Do I need to get tested before traveling to the United States?
You must provide proof that you had a positive viral test within the past 90 days, have no symptoms, and have a letter from your doctor or health department that states you have been cleared for travel.
Does my child have to get tested for COVID-19?
Do the COVID-19 test results have to be in English?
Is a waiver available for the testing requirements?
Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy Bern and provide the information below. The U.S. Embassy will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.
The following information must be provided by email for each passenger:
- Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
- Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
- Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
- U.S. destination address
- Is U.S. destination home address?
- Departure date
- Flight itinerary
- Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
- Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s))
- Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
- Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)
Does CDC require quarantine after international travel?
CDC does not require that international travelers undergo mandatory federal quarantine, but does recommend travelers get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home or otherwise self-quarantine for 7 days after travel. For more about CDC’s after travel recommendations for preventing COVID-19 see After you Travel Internationally.
CDC has also provided strong guidance to state and local public health officials to use their authorities to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons within their jurisdictions. CDC will continue to work closely with state/local public health officials to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, and encourage them to use their own authorities to enforce the use of isolation and quarantine when necessary. Always follow state, territorial, and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
I am a U.S. citizen and my child only has a Swiss Passport. Can my child travel on the foreign passport?
By U.S. law, U.S. citizens are required to ENTER and EXIT the United States on a valid U.S. Passport.
A child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent might acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent met the transmitting requirements.
If a person is a U.S. citizen, he or she is not eligible for a visa. Any prospective applicant believing he or she may have a claim to U.S. citizenship should have his or her citizenship claim adjudicated (officially determined) by a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before applying for a U.S. visa.
For a formal determination of acquisition of U.S. citizenship, Form DS-2029 needs to be submitted to our office.
Step-by-step instructions are available on our website at: https://ch.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/citizenship-services/birth/
Do entry restrictions still exist for Schengen Countries?
YES. Visit the DHS website for Arrival Restrictions in the U.S.: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-certain-countries-europe and the press release of September 9, 2020
If you are outside the United States:
- Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
- Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
- Visit our Embassy web page for information on conditions in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States
- Visit the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health Website for latest updates
- Visit the Swiss Secretariat of Migration Website for information on border crossing
- Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
- Visit Keeping workplaces, homes, schools, or commercial establishments safe.
- Download Alertswiss, a mobile app by the Federal Office for Civil Protection, to help you plan for and stay safe in an emergency while in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
Can I Transit Through Switzerland?
- Is it possible to transit Switzerland from the United States or a third country considered by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) to be high-risk to a Schengen country?
- NO, it is not possible to transit Switzerland from a high-risk country like the United States in order to travel on to another Schengen country. There maybe some exceptions. Third-country citizens holding a residence document for their destination country in the Schengen area are permitted to travel through Switzerland to that country. 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 information and details on exceptions, please visit the SEM Website.
- Is it possible to transit Switzerland from the United States or a third country considered by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) to be high-risk to a non-Schengen country?
- YES, but only via Zurich or Geneva airports. Travelers should check whether they require a transit visa. In such cases, travelers do not actually enter Switzerland but remain in the international transit area of the airport.
- Transit visa requirements: Passport and visa requirements not depending on citizenship(PDF, 374 kB, 03.04.2020)
- Is it possible to transit Switzerland from one Schengen country to another Schengen country?
- YES, individuals who are already lawfully present in the Schengen zone can transit Switzerland from one Schengen country to another Schengen country.
- Is it possible to transit Switzerland from a Schengen country to a third non-Schengen country?
- YES, individuals who are already lawfully present in the Schengen zone can transit Switzerland from one Schengen country to a third non-Schengen country.
- Is it possible to transit from a third country not considered by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)to be high-risk to a Schengen state?
- YES, when entering Switzerland from a third country that is not considered high-risk in order to transit to another Schengen state, all travelers must fulfill the normal requirements for entering Switzerland.
- Is it possible to transit from a third country not considered by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)to be high-risk to another third country?
- YES, as long as all normal entry and transit requirements have been met such as a transit visa.
Who can enter Switzerland?
- The United States remains on the list of high risk countries and entry restrictions apply.
- Visit the Swiss Secretariat of Migration website for the current regulations: https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/de/home/aktuell/aktuell/faq-einreiseverweigerung.html
- Visit the FAQ website from the Swiss Migration Office: https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/themen/einreise/faq.html
- If you are in the United States, contact the Swiss Embassy in Washington D.C.: https://www.eda.admin.ch/washington
- Inquiries can be directed to the Swiss Migration office at: email@example.com
If entry into Switzerland is permitted: What are the rules?
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.
Can I travel to Switzerland for business?
Because of the Coronavirus my flight was cancelled and I cannot leave Switzerland - what do I have to do?
I am allowed to enter Switzerland - Do I need to self-quarantine?
No, as of April 5, 2021, the United States are no longer considered a country of high risk infection by the FOPH.
Can I travel to Switzerland as a Tourist for my summer vacation?
There is currently no date as of when US citizens can enter Switzerland again. The Swiss Migration Office states in a press release on May 27 that Swiss authorities “will decide on lifting entry restrictions for third countries [including the USA] at a later date and in consultation with the Schengen member states.”
Please also note that the Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Switzerland due to COVID-19.
Consequently, we strongly advise against making any travel arrangements until the entry restrictions have been lifted and that you follow the Department’s travel advisory to avoid international travel.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine be available for U.S. citizens abroad?
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/
Where can I find information regarding the Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks)?
You will find this information on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Website at:
Should you have specific questions in this regard, please contact the IRS directly.
Economic Impact Payment Hotline: +1 800 919 9835
The U.S. Embassy does not cash checks. You would need to work with the local banks.
Banking resources are available on our website at: https://ch.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/living-in-ch/banking-resources/
Can remains of a deceased U.S. Citizen be repatriated to the U.S. during Covid-19?
Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.
At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:
- The remains are cremated; OR
- The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
- The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
- Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.
For more information regarding Consular Reports of Death Abroad visit our Website: Death of a U.S. Citizen
In Switzerland, call +41 58 463 00 00, 24/7
Please note: This Infoline does not provide medical advice. Due to the high volume of calls you may experience delays in getting through.
In Liechtenstein, call +423 236 76 82
Coronavirus Online Check
Find a medical practitioner near you
Find your nearest specialist or general practitioner quickly and free of charge: doctorfmh.ch is the official, comprehensive list of doctors in Switzerland. With more than 30,000 entries, it is updated daily.
Cantonal websites on the COVID-19 outbreak
The cantonal authorities are responsible for many matters/tasks relating to the coronavirus outbreak. Links to cantonal websites can be found at ch.ch, where you will find information on the new coronavirus along with relevant contact details.
- Police, dial 117 (same in Liechtenstein)
- Fire service, dial 118 (same in Liechtenstein)
- Ambulance, dial 144 (same in Liechtenstein)
- European Emergency Number, dial 112 (same in Liechtenstein)
Self-quarantine and social distancing help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but for many dealing with domestic violence, staying home may put people at risk. External factors such as financial strain and stress compound the issue, and when the community is encouraged to remain in their homes, an abuser may take advantage of an already harmful situation. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, call 117 in an emergency and visit Victim Support Switzerland
Travelers and residents are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. The Department uses these Alerts to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc.