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FYI--Press release on easing of restrictions in Switzerland (no news on opening to US tourists)

For those who are interested, this link is to the press release following today's Federal Council Press Conference. It details the plan for the furthering easing of restrictions, things like indoor dining and an increase in crowd size for outside events.

https://www.admin.ch/gov/fr/accueil/documentation/communiques.msg-id-83697.html

NOTE: My understanding is that the "No quarantine for healed and vaccinated people" section only applies to Swiss citizens. As far as I know, there have been no announcements on the opening of the border to U.S. tourists. I expect that to come at a later date.

I don't find it helpful to speculate or make predictions, so I'm waiting for an official announcement that provides info. on when travel to Switzerland will be permitted. I'm hopeful my Sept. trip can happen, but I won't know until I know. 😊

P.S. If it doesn't translate automatically for you, you will need to translate. I use Google Chrome and when I right click, there's an option to translate to English. It's a lengthy press release, so I didn't want to post.

Posted by
557 posts

Thank you for posting Carrie!

P.S. If it doesn't translate automatically for you, you will need to
translate. I use Google Chrome and when I right click, there's an
option to translate to English. It's a lengthy press release, so I
didn't want to post.

It's actually available in English translation directly from the website as well -- the DE / FR / IT / RM / EN abbreviations in the top right of the page indicate that it is (or is not) available in German, French, Italian, Rumansch or English, respectively.

Posted by
893 posts

Good start, though I notice the no quarantine rule good only for 6 months. If our planned trip happens in Aug we may just barely squeak thru.

Posted by
877 posts

This is great Carrie...thank you. Our plans are to be in Zurich 9/2021 for 2 weeks so I am interested in seeing our trip materialize! Looks like we might be able to make it happen!

Posted by
51 posts

Reading the section on vaccination entry in french (not translated), the language does in fact refer to and cover all entry into Switzerland ("toute entree sur le territoire"). There is no language here which refers to specific countries or EU zone only etc. This is not surprising as the swiss dislike unequal treatment of any kind.

There is however this specification: "Elle ne s’applique par contre pas aux personnes guéries et vaccinées en provenance d’un Etat ou d’une zone où circule un variant préoccupant du virus SARS-CoV-2." The word "Etat" in this case, refers to a foreign country, not a state or canton.

This is a contingency which allows the swiss to restrict entry or reinstate quarantine for all entrants regardless of vaccination etc., should you be arriving from an area that is deemed higher risk due to a covid variant "of concern". Read - the Indian variant and flights from the UK for example.

Overall, reading this, I would say that this release places Switzerland at a U.S. Level 2 reopening... maybe 3.... where many U.S. states were last summer. So it's still pretty restricted. Given how conservative the swiss are, I would probably wait until they are further along before going there. The swiss are very protective of their environment and wellness, and are not as likely as, say the Italians, to welcome tourists back until they feel it is absolutely safe to do so.

Posted by
27 posts

How are connecting flights from US through Zurich being handled? We will be traveling from LAX to Spain but are connecting in Zurich. Adults are vaccinate but for Spain our young two children have to show proof of 72hr neg Covid test.

Posted by
2724 posts

Soups, I believe this answers your question:

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.

https://ch.usembassy.gov/embassy/liechtenstein/u-s-citizenship-services/covid-19-faq/

The link and info. is from the US embassy in Switzerland.

Posted by
5 posts

Here is a link to the Swiss Embassy in the USA website. It has the latest information regarding travel into Switzerland. Note: for fully vaccinated Americans, quarantine is no longer necessary, nor is completion of the electronic passenger location form. It does not say what documentation is acceptable to verify that a person is fully vaccinated. (The vaccinated traveler needs to have been vaccinated within the past 6 months.)

https://www.eda.admin.ch/washington

Additionally, here is a link to the latest information regarding re-opening the Swiss economy. Note: indoor dining (with restrictions) is now allowed.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/covid-19_coronavirus--the-situation-in-switzerland/45592192

Things are looking up in Switzerland. We are planning on a trip to the Alps in late August and are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to go. Since most of our activities are going to be centered in outdoor hiking in the Bernese Oberland and the Zermatt area, we think it will be fairly safe. The Swiss tourist industry needs revenue to survive.

Posted by
9 posts

Vacation home rentals and air bnbs are doing extremely well since the Swiss are still going on holiday... just now within their own country. However, other fields in tourism are indeed suffering, including the chocolate and watch branches and the food and beverage industry.

Thank you to everyone for the information. We are looking to take a train from Paris to Interlakken June 18th. We are fully vaccinated and will have been in Paris for 5 days. Has anyone had any problems doing anything similar? It sounds like fully vaccinated US citizens are welcome, but I'm also hearing some hesitation. Switzerland is the top of the list for our daughter (her graduation trip from last year). Thanks for any input.

Dawn

Posted by
77 posts

My wife and I have reservations for an apartment in a private chalet in Grindelwald for the last two weeks in September (2021). I emailed our hosts and said I had seen a recent article that U.S. tourists were still banned from entering Switzerland. They responded and said there was no longer a ban on U.S. tourists from entering Switzerland (or a required quarantine, etc.). I know them and have stayed with them before, and they have always seemed on top of things.

Are they mistaken? Any further information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much!

P.S. My wife and I had a conversation last night about the possibility of another surge of COVID in September. We had planned to travel to France after Switzerland. Any thoughts on the odds that both Switzerland and France will be open to U.S. tourists in September and October? We hate to cancel our trip, but we're worried about the odds of closure to U.S. tourists in one or both of the countries.

Posted by
8533 posts

I think Carrie has the right interpretation. This is another case where some travelers coming from (citizenship is not the relevant issue) the US to Switzerland are allowed in, i.e., Swiss citizens. But its being interpreted as allowing all travelers from the US in, but thats not the case. Just about every site Ive looked at from European countries has had that same problem.

Posted by
497 posts

My thoughts are wait until after the Biden trip this week, think we will know more then. We are scheduled for Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia in Fall but now considering just spending whole month in Switzerland to avoid border crossings even within the EU/Schengen zone. But I think we’ll hear some news at the end of this week or start of next week.

Posted by
2724 posts

Bill, I’m still hopeful that I’ll be able to take my Sept. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that both our trips happen.

The Swiss gov. is expected to make another announcement on the further easing of restrictions on June 23rd. So, we should be hearing more in a couple of weeks.

Posted by
5 posts

After looking at additional Swiss websites, I agree that the link that I posted above does not apply to American tourists. It applies to travelers arriving from the United States. In other words, Swiss citizens and permanent residents, persons traveling on approved essential business, etc. are exempt from quarantine provided that they have been fully vaccinated.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/sem/aktuell/entry-restrictions-to-third-countries.html

The US is still on their list of high risk countries.

Hopefully, this exemption will be available to American tourists soon.

Sorry for any confusion.

Posted by
2724 posts

John, no worries. It is very confusing. But I think we have it straight now. Because the US is on the list of high-risk countries, tourists are not permitted to enter. The vaccine and testing issue only comes into play for those who are permitted entry.

I did read this today on the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration’s website, which sounds promising:

The Confederation is currently examining whether and how, in view of
the improved epidemiological situation, the entry conditions for
persons from third countries may be relaxed. As a Schengen-associated
state, the Confederation coordinates its entry regulations with the
EU. The Federal Council will provide information on this before the
end of June.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home.html