The Swiss Federal Council is expected to follow the recommendations issued by the European Union (EU) Council on 30 June 2020 and will lift restrictions for non-essential travel to Switzerland by residents of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The lifting of the travel restrictions will be effective starting 20 July 2020. While Serbia was included on the list issued by the EU Council, it is unlikely that travel restrictions for residents of Serbia will be lifted by the Swiss authorities. Residents of China will benefit from the lifting of travel restrictions, provided that the Chinese authorities will allow Swiss residents to enter China. Travelers from other Schengen countries as well as travelers from Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus are also permitted to enter Switzerland.
It is important to note that the lifting of travel restrictions will not remove the need for travelers from visa required countries to secure the appropriate entry visa prior to their travel to Switzerland.
Starting from 6 July 2020, travelers who have visited designated countries with a high risk of COVID-19 infections within 14 days prior to their entry to Switzerland will be required to quarantine for a period of 10 days after arrival. The list will be updated regularly and – as of 3 July 2020 – includes Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Iraq, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Turks & Caicos, and the USA. Travelers who are subject to the quarantine requirement must report their entry to the local cantonal office within 2 days of arrival after which they will receive further instructions. Limited exemptions to the quarantine requirement exist for the following travelers:
- Those engaged in the cross-border transportation of goods and persons;
- Those engaging in essential activities to support the health sector;
- Those entering Switzerland for urgent professional or medical purposes for a period of up to 5 days;
- Those who transited a high-risk country and spent less than 24 hours in said country;
- Those transiting Switzerland with a confirmed travel itinerary to a third country.
Travelers violating the quarantine requirement are subject to a penalty of up to CHF 10,000.
For additional questions regarding this alert, please contact the TS EMEA immigration team at [email protected].