Coronavirus: Quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland

People arriving from countries and areas with a high risk of infection must go into quarantine. The list of these countries and areas has been updated on 12 January. A negative test does not exempt you from the mandatory quarantine requirement.



This page only contains information on quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland. You will find general information on travel abroad on the page Travel.


Who must go into quarantine?

People who have spent time in a country or area with an increased risk of infection and then enter Switzerland must go into quarantine. The countries and areas affected are set down in a list.  

The mandatory quarantine requirement is governed by the list valid at the moment of entry into Switzerland.  

Check the list that is valid on your entry into Switzerland. Were you in one of the countries or areas on the list at any point in the last 10 days before entry into Switzerland? If so, you are legally required to go into quarantine and report your arrival in Switzerland to the cantonal authorities. Follow the instructions under What to do after entering Switzerland.

A negative test result does not exempt you from the mandatory quarantine requirement or shorten the quarantine period. This is because a negative test result does not rule out an infection with the new coronavirus. You will find the biological explanation for this on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

However, various people are exempt from the quarantine requirement in Switzerland. You will find a list of all the exemptions in Article 4 of the Covid-19 Ordinance on International Transport Measures. They include, for example:

  • Business travellers who are travelling for an important reason that cannot be postponed.
  • Individuals travelling for an important medical reason that cannot be postponed.
  • Transit passengers who have spent less than 24 hours in a country or area with an increased risk of infection.
     

Criteria for the list

Whether a country or area is included on the quarantine list depends on its 14-day incidence. This incidence represents the number of new infections that have occurred per 100,000 people in the last 14 days. If the incidence in a particular country is at least 60 higher than the incidence in Switzerland, the country is put on the list, because it has a higher risk of infection than Switzerland.

Given that the epidemiological situation is constantly changing, the list is adjusted regularly. As a rule it is updated every 14 days. This is done by looking at data from the  ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) on a specific cut-off date. The list is then updated on the basis of the incidences on this date. The updated list enters into force a few days later. A country's incidence may change between the cut-off date and the date of entry into force. In this case the list nevertheless remains valid.

There are also other reasons than the incidence for putting a country on the quarantine list. You will find these criteria in the COVID-19 Ordinance on measures in international passenger transport.

Areas bordering on Switzerland can be exempted from inclusion on the list despite a corresponding incidence of the new coronavirus. The reason for the greater differentiation applied in these cases is the close economic, social and cultural ties that exist with neighbouring countries. The incidence is then examined in individual areas rather than in the country as a whole.
 

List of countries and areas with an increased risk of infection

On covid19.admin.ch you will find a visualisation of the list on a world map.  

No longer on the list since 7 january 2021: Belize, Italy: Region Friuli Venezia Giulia.  

The newly added countries and areas are written in bold.

Older lists can be found in the corresponding version of the “COVID-19 Ordinance on International Passenger Transport Measures”. Access to all versions of this ordinance can be gained in the classified compilation (listed on the right-hand side in a box).

What to do after entering Switzerland

  • Upon arrival, go immediately to your home or to other suitable accommodation (e.g. a hotel or holiday apartment). On the way there, keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from other people. If you are unable to maintain this distance, we recommend that you wear a mask. Avoid public transport if possible.
  • Report your arrival  to the cantonal authority responsible within two days. Follow the instructions of the cantonal authority.
  • For 10 days after your arrival in Switzerland you must stay in your home or other suitable accommodation without going out. Avoid contact with other people and follow the  instructions on quarantine (PDF, 349 kB, 29.12.2020).

Anyone who fails to comply with the quarantine requirement or the duty to report to the authorities is committing an offence under the Epidemics Act (in German), which can be punished by a fine of up to CHF 10,000.

Information on quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland

Anyone who may have become infected with the new coronavirus must go into quarantine. If they fall ill they should avoid all contact with other people in order to prevent the spread of the virus. The quarantined person should stay at home or in some other suitable accommodation and not leave for any reason.

Who has to go into quarantine and how long must they stay there? What should you do if you are in quarantine and live with other people? This and other information can be found in the document Instructions on quarantine (PDF, 349 kB, 29.12.2020).

Children

Children entering Switzerland from a country or area mentioned on the list must also spend 10 days in quarantine.

Continued payment of wages or compensation for loss of earnings?

A check must first be conducted to see whether your employer is obliged to continue paying wages under the terms of your employment contract. The specific assessment of whether your wages are still payable is performed by you and your employer. In the event of a dispute, the courts will probably have to decide.

There are two cases in which an employer is obliged to continue paying wages:

  • If your employer sends you to work in a country or area with an increased risk of infection and you have to go into quarantine upon your return to Switzerland.
  • If you can still work from home despite being in quarantine.

If you are unable to work on account of the quarantine imposed on persons arriving in Switzerland and do not receive wages from your employer, the following applies:

  • You will be entitled to compensation for Covid-related loss of earnings if you have to go into quarantine through no fault of your own. This is the case if, at the time of your departure, your destination was not included on the list of countries and areas with an increased risk of infection and, at the time of your departure, you could not know, based on an offical announcement, that your destination would be included on this list during your trip.
  • You will thus have no right to compensation if, at the time of your departure, your destination was on the list of countries and areas with an increased risk of infection. 

Payment of compensation for loss of earnings due to the corona crisis is organised by the OASI compensation offices. You will find further information the OASI/DI Information Centre website (in German, French, Italian) or on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) (in German, French and Italian).

Compliance monitoring

The cantonal authorities are responsible for enforcing and monitoring compliance with the quarantine measures, and they carry out spot checks. For this purpose, they receive contact details for people subject to quarantine who entered Switzerland. These contact details come from flights or bus services selected at random on a weekly basis.  

Members of the same household who have not been abroad

Does someone in your household have to go into quarantine after entering the country? If so, avoid contact with the quarantined person according to the Instructions on quarantine (PDF, 349 kB, 29.12.2020). If all household members follow this advice, you can continue to live your life as normal and do not have to go into quarantine yourself.

The rules on hygiene and social distancing also remain important in this situation.  

Info sheet and poster to download

Contact details of the responsible cantonal authorities

Contact your local cantonal authority within two days of your arrival.

Further information

Travel

Recommendations for travel abroad, conditions for entry into Switzerland, mandatory quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland

Last modification 18.01.2021

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Please refer instead to our webpages, which are continuously updated.

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