Travelling to Switzerland During COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Switzerland Plans to Reopen Borders to Vaccinated Travellers by 28 June

Switzerland might soon join the list of EU countries welcoming back more travellers!

Whenever we talk about travelling to Switzerland, we often think of dazzling alpine landscapes, scenic train rides, and of course — their famous chocolates. And fortunately, the Swiss government has revealed plans to reopen borders to foreign travellers from select third countries (i.e., all those outside the European Union).

The plan is scheduled to start on 28 June, wherein Switzerland will allow entry of those from third countries who have undergone the vaccination process using one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). They will also no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival or undergo pre-arrival testing. However, the decision won’t be final until 23 June

Who are and will be allowed to visit Switzerland?

travelling to Switzerland

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Due to high vaccination rates and significant improvement in the COVID-19 situation, the Swiss Federal Council has already reopened its borders to travellers from Schengen states and EU countries, as well as several third countries. This includes Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, and Rwanda.

Should the plan push through, overseas visitors who are fully vaccinated will be allowed entry to Switzerland borders without having to quarantine. Like in most EU countries, though, this will be limited to those who have taken a vaccine approved by the EMA. The current list includes Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson

The requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test result will only remain mandatory for unvaccinated travellers, or those who have been vaccinated with a vaccine that has not been approved. That said, travellers from the United States and other low-risk third countries might soon be able to visit Switzerland, too. 

What else you need to know before travelling to Switzerland

travelling to Switzerland

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“Entry into Switzerland must be made easier. The Federal Council decided at its meeting on 11 June 2021. Health measures at the border must now focus on people from countries in which a worrying variant of the virus is circulating,” according to a recent statement from the Swiss government. 

In a recent update from, the authorities have decided to only impose health measures on arrivals from countries with a worrying virus mutation. As of writing, this includes Brazil, Canada, India, Nepal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. However, travellers from these mentioned countries might still be allowed to skip testing and quarantine requirements — provided that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the COVID-19.

All those who are travelling to Switzerland by air will be required to complete an online entry form.

What’s the COVID-19 situation in Switzerland?

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Among a population of 8.6 million, the country has recorded over 10,800 coronavirus deaths, 701,000 cases, and 318,000 recovered. Currently, infection rates have declined and vaccinations are accelerating. According to SWI, over 5.8 million vaccine doses have been administered between late December 2020 and 9 June 2021. Hence, over 25% of people in Switzerland are fully vaccinated. 

As of 31 May, many social distancing rules have been eased. Restaurants in Switzerland can open indoor and outdoor areas, and public events can be held with a larger headcount. 

With the pending plan to further reopen Switzerland borders, there might also be further easing of such restrictions. The plan proposes to reopen discotheques and allow larger groups of people at restaurants and sporting facilities.

Also read: Will Revenge Travel Save the Tourism Industry?

Granted, these plans will only be ratified on 23 June. Nonetheless, the government is very much looking forward to a comeback of more foreign travellers. 

“I have long believed that Switzerland, with its small boutique towns, rustic villages dotted along picturesque valleys, and wide-open alpine landscapes are the natural choice for a post-COVID holiday. Now that the borders will be open, we can’t wait to welcome each one of you,” said Claudio Zemp, the Director of Switzerland Tourism. 

Thinking of travelling to Switzerland soon, especially once the decision has been confirmed? Here’s a list of must-visit cities, as well as the best natural sceneries in the country! And if you’re still on the fence, perhaps these amazing reasons to visit Switzerland might convince you? 

Featured image credit: Gim42 via Canva Pro 

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.


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