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Updated 21 January 2021
After months of dormancy due to the raging pandemic, the travel industry is gearing up for a return to small normalcy with borders reopening, easing of quarantine requirements, and the creation of travel bubbles. Travellers around the world are now keen to find out if, when, and where they can travel abroad. One country that’s been on many travel wishlist is Switzerland.
Can anyone travel to Switzerland now? What important things do travellers need to know if they are planning to fly to Switzerland?
Who can travel to Switzerland?
Travellers who are allowed free-travel into Switzerland
All travellers who are nationals of Swiss/EU/UK/EFTA/Schengen states, their family members (spouse, registered partner, dependent relative, and dependent children), and those from third countries considered to be low-risk have the right to enter the borders of Switzerland.
Third countries considered to be low-risk include Andorra, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Holy See, Ireland, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
Travellers who are allowed entry into Switzerland with certain restrictions
All travellers who are not the nationals of Schengen states and those not included in the list of low-risk countries are considered citizens of high-risk countries. They are refused entry into Switzerland for a stay of up to three months. This includes:
- Persons who wish to obtain services in Switzerland
- Tourists, visitors, and participants in events
- Persons who wish to come to Switzerland for medical treatment not regarded as urgent
- Persons seeking employment in Switzerland
- Persons who wish to apply for a residence permit
Foreign nationals, even those arriving from a high-risk country, can still enter Switzerland if they meet at least one of the following requirements:
- They have Swiss citizenship
- They hold a travel document (e.g., a passport or identity card) and either a residence permit, a cross-border permit, an FDFA legitimation card, a D visa issued by Switzerland, a C visa issued by Switzerland after 16 March 2020 or an assurance of a residence permit from a cantonal migration authority or an entry permit with a visa issued by Switzerland
- They hold a refugee 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.
- They have rights of free movement
- They are transporting goods for commercial purposes and have a goods delivery note.
- They are transiting through Switzerland
- They are in a situation of special necessity
- They are specialists in the healthcare sector who need to enter Switzerland for important work-related reasons
Travellers who are transiting through Switzerland
- Transit from a Schengen state to other Schengen state or to a third country outside the Schengen state – Allowed for any traveller who was lawfully present in the Schengen area
- Transit from a high-risk third country to a Schengen state – Not allowed for a short stay in the Schengen state of up to 90 days. Exemptions, as stated above, apply.
- Transit from a low-risk third country to a Schengen state – Allowed for travellers holding a valid travel document
- Transit from a high-risk third country to another third country – Allowed only if transiting through Geneva or Zurich airport (may require transit visa)
- Transit from low-risk third country to another third country – Allowed (may require transit visa)
Do I need to quarantine if I travel to Switzerland?
Travellers who enter Switzerland from a country or an area with an increased risk of infection must go into quarantine. The list of such areas and countries is regularly updated on the Federal Office of Public Health website.
Travellers arriving from those areas and countries must stay at home or suitable accommodation for ten days without leaving the premises and must report their arrival to the local cantonal authority within two days. Note that a negative test result does not exempt you from the mandatory quarantine requirement.
Exceptions to quarantine apply to certain travellers and can be found in the section exempted from the quarantine requirement.
Are there flights to Switzerland now?
Yes, flights from all over the EU/UK/EFTA and Schengen states are flying directly into Swiss airports. Flights from some newly approved third countries are also starting to resume. You can book your flight to Switzerland on Wego. It is compulsory to wear a face mask on all flights to and from Switzerland. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine.