People who have typical symptoms of Covid-19 disease must go into isolation. People who have had close contact with a person with Covid-19 disease must go into quarantine. This way chains of infection can be broken.
Reason for isolation and quarantine
Isolation and quarantine are measures designed to break chains of infection and thus contain the spread of the new coronavirus. These measures apply to people who have been confirmed with an infection or are suspected to be infected. Suspicion may arise, for example, because they have typical symptoms of the disease or have had close contact with someone who demonstrably has Covid-19.
You will find definitions of the terms “close contacts”, “isolation” and “quarantine” on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
What to do in the event of symptoms of the disease
It is important for as many cases of infection with the new coronavirus to be identified as possible. For this reason we recommend a test even if you have only mild symptoms. Do you feel ill, or do you have individual symptoms pointing to the new coronavirus? Then proceed as follows:
1. Reduce contact: Stay at home and avoid all contact with other people.
2. Get a test recommendation: Do the coronavirus check. At the end of the check you’ll receive our recommendation. If you are to have a test you will receive information on the next steps. You can also call your doctor to discuss the procedure.
Take your problems and symptoms seriously even if they probably aren’t connected with new coronavirus. If required, call your doctor on the phone. Stay at home for 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided. This is also our recommendation for other respiratory diseases and the flu.
If you experience symptoms again, we recommend repeating the coronavirus check.
Children under age 12 do not have to be tested in all cases. The children’s doctor will decide with the parents whether a test is needed, taking account of the FOPH’s recommendations.
3. Tests: Have a test if this is recommended by the coronavirus check or your doctors. Provided the FOPH’s criteria for testing are met, the costs of the test will be paid by the federal government.
4. Until the test results are available: Stay at home and avoid all contact with other people until the result of the test is available.
What to do in the event of a positive test result
- Isolation: Follow the instructions on compulsory isolation (PDF, 194 kB, 11.05.2020) and avoid all contact with other people. If you live with other people in the same household, set yourself up in one room on your own.
- Contact tracing: The cantonal authority responsible will contact you. Together you will work out what people have been in contact with you. These people may have to go into quarantine.
- Covidcode: If you use the SwissCovid App, on request you will receive a Covidcode from the cantonal authority. You can use the Covidcode to voluntarily activate the alert function in the app to anonymously notify other users of the contact.
- End of isolation: The cantonal authority will inform you when your period of isolation ends. As a rule you can only leave your home 48 hours at the earliest after the symptoms of the disease have subsided. But whatever the case you may not leave home until at least 10 days after your symptoms first appeared.
What to do in the event of a negative test result
Stay at home. You can come out of isolation 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided. This is also our recommendation for other respiratory diseases and the flu.
If you experience symptoms again or are worried, contact your doctor.
What to do following contact with an infected person
Have you had contact with a person who has tested positive for the new coronavirus? You may be contagious (able to infect other people) for the next few days without realising.
In this case the following applies:
- Strictly follow the rules on hygiene and social distancing.
- Keep an eye on your state of health.
- You can continue to work, if possible from home.
If you start experiencing disease symptoms: Stay at home and follow the instructions on what to do in the event of symptoms of the disease.
Only people with whom the person with Covid-19 has been in close contact must go into compulsory quarantine. If you have to go into quarantine, the cantonal authority responsible will contact you and inform you about the next steps.
Instructions of the cantonal authorities
As part of the contact tracing procedure, the person with the disease will be asked who they have been in close contact with. If this person specifies you as a close contact, the cantonal authority will get in touch with you. The authority will inform you about the next steps, and may instruct you to go into compulsory quarantine. From this point the quarantine instructions (PDF, 182 kB, 03.08.2020) are binding.
If you still do not have symptoms 10 days after the contact, with the agreement of the cantonal authority responsible you may go out in public again.
Alert from the SwissCovid App
Have you received an alert (warning) from the SwissCovid App that you have been in contact with an infected person? Please call the specified infoline voluntarily. The infoline will discuss with you the likelihood you have been infected and what to do next.
Continued payment of salary
If you have to go into isolation because you have the new coronavirus disease and have been signed off work by a doctor, you are entitled to continued payment of your salary or to daily sickness benefits. The continued payment of salary is governed by the Swiss Code of Obligations. This obliges your employer to keep paying you for at least three weeks. Many employers take out insurance so that employees who are absent for longer periods receive daily sickness benefits covering 80 percent of their pay. Check with your employer and your employment contract to find out what arrangements apply to you.
If you have to go into compulsory quarantine because you have been in contact with a person who has tested positive, you are entitled to compensation for loss of earnings. You will find information on this (in German, French and Italian) on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO).
Loneliness and anxiety
For many people it’s not easy to spend time alone in isolation or quarantine. You may feel lonely, worried or anxious. Family and friends are a precious resource. Stay in contact with them, for example by phone or online. Tell them what’s on your mind. If that’s not possible, phone 143 for the Dargebotene Hand/La main tendue/Telefono Amico Ticino e Grigioni Italiano for someone to talk to, free of charge, around the clock. Or visit www.dureschnufe.ch. There you’ll find tips, ideas and services, also for the time you’re in isolation or quarantine.
Last modification 01.08.2020