The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice DO NOT TRAVEL – 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?
Can I travel to the United States on my expired U.S. passport?
If you are overseas and your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport to return directly to the United States until December 31, 2021
You qualify for this exception if all the following are true:
- You are a U.S. citizen.
- You are currently abroad seeking direct return to the United States.
- You are flying directly to the United States, a United States territory, or have only short-term transit (“connecting flights”) through a foreign country on your direct return to the United States or to a United States Territory.
- Your expired passport was originally valid for 10 years. Or, if you were 15 years of age or younger when the passport was issued, your expired passport was valid for 5 years.
- Your expired passport is undamaged.
- Your expired passport is unaltered.
- Your expired passport is in your possession.
You do not qualify for this exception if:
- You wish to depart from the United States to an international destination.
- You are currently abroad seeking to travel to a foreign country for any length of stay longer than an airport connection en route to the United States or to a United States territory.
- Your expired passport was limited in validity.
- Your expired passport is a special issuance passport (such as a diplomatic, official, service, or no-fee regular passport).
- Your expired passport is damaged.
- Your expired passport is altered.
- Your expired passport is not in your possession.
Please be advised that currently, routine passport processing in the United States can take 10-12 weeks. If you need a passport in less than 10-12 weeks due to international travel plans, you can pay an additional $60 fee to expedite your passport, which will shorten the processing time to 4-6 weeks.
If your U.S. passport expired on or before December 31, 2019, please see our website for information on how to renew your passport before traveling: https://ch.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/
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?
Who can enter Switzerland?
- Visit the Swiss Government Travel Check Website to verify if you can enter Switzerland: https://travelcheck.admin.ch/home
- Visit the FAQ website from the Swiss Migration Office: https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/sem/aktuell/faq-einreiseverweigerung.html#1668147653
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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?
- Visit the Swiss Government Travel Check Website to verify if you can enter Switzerland: https://travelcheck.admin.ch/home
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/
If I am vaccinated abroad will I receive a Covid certificate?
Yes, you can get a COVID certificate. The vaccination you have had abroad must meet the following requirements:
- The vaccine must be authorized in Switzerland.
- The vaccination must be complete; in other words, it must include the number of doses specified in the FOPH recommendations.
- You are a permanent resident in Switzerland
In order to obtain a COVID certificate that is valid in Switzerland, the vaccine administered must be approved for use in Switzerland and you must be fully vaccinated. To obtain a certificate, contact the cantonal authorities in your canton of residence or where you are temporarily staying. There is at least one point of contact in each canton. You can find the relevant information on the canton’s website.
Are tourists also admitted to large-scale events where a COVID certificate is required?
The following applies to people who have been vaccinated:
You can either show a recognized non-Swiss certificate or you can have a Swiss COVID certificate issued.
You can obtain a COVID certificate in Switzerland if you have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine that is authorized in Switzerland. In each canton there is at least one body or office responsible for this. You will find more information on the cantons’ websites.
In all other cases you must have a test to obtain a COVID certificate.
The following applies to people who have not been vaccinated:
You must have a test, and if the result is negative you can then be issued with a COVID certificate.
Do I need a Swiss Covid Vaccination Certificate when visiting Switzerland?
No, however, you may not be able to visit certain places that require one for entry (such as bars, festivals, restaurants, etc.).
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 email@example.com.
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.