Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bern (March 20, 2020)

U.S. Embassy Bern, Switzerland

  

Subject: Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bern (March 20, 2020)
 
Location: Switzerland and Liechtenstein
 
Event:

On March 19, 2020 the Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Alert – Do not travel

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.  Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.  If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. personnel and family members from any diplomatic or consular post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification.  These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens.

Travel to the United States

There is only one remaining direct flight from Switzerland to the United States in operation, the Zurich to Newark route operated by Swiss International Airlines.  The Department of State does not endorse any private company and assumes no responsibility or liability for services provided by private companies.

Many countries have closed their national borders, which in most cases also applies to airline passengers in transit to the United States. Please work directly with the airline.

The Department of Homeland Security issued instructions requiring U.S. passengers that have been in Schengen region (including Switzerland or Liechtenstein), the United Kingdom, and Ireland to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.  See the  DHS website for further details.

Conditions in Switzerland and Lichtenstein

On March 16, the U.S. Embassy in Bern suspended all routine services. Emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passport issuance, continue to be available. Please visit our website for additional information or to schedule an appointment.

Public transportation within Switzerland and Lichtenstein has been reduce significantly, but some trains and buses continue to operate.

For the latest on local conditions and restrictions visit our website: https://ch.usembassy.gov/covid-19-info/

Actions to take: 

·         U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States using whatever commercial means available, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

·          U.S. citizens residing abroad should consider returning to their country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means available.

·         Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.

·         Please review: What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis

·         Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus

·         Visit our Embassy webpage 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.

·         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 on conditions in Switzerland and Liechtenstein

·         Visit the Swiss Secretariat of Migration Website for information on border crossing

·         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

·         Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.

 

Assistance: U.S. Embassy Bern, Switzerland
031 357 70 11 (dialing within Switzerland)
+41 31 357 70 11 (dialing from overseas)
BernACS@state.govState 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)·         Switzerland Country Specific Information

·         Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

·         Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Get 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.

 

 

To manage your subscription to these notifications please visit Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).