Can you visit Switzerland for your ski holidays? Switzerland is a European territory “island”, that is taking a different approach to fighting the coronavirus. They are balancing coronavirus restrictions with economical lockdown differently.
At the moment of writing, Switzerland is as well the only country in the Alps that is allowing ski holidays without prior quarantine or negative test.
But not to everyone.
Here below you may find information on how does it work.
People arriving into Switzerland for Ski Holidays from countries and areas with a high risk of infection must go into quarantine. The list of these countries and areas is constantly updating and the last update has been done on 14 December. If your country is on the list, a negative test will not exempt you from the mandatory quarantine requirement.
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. The list is valid even if you arrive in Switzerland for Ski Holidays. 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.
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 travelers who are traveling for an important reason that cannot be postponed.
- Individuals traveling 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.
In rare cases, there are reasons other 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 neighboring 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
The newly added countries and areas are written in bold.
No longer on the list since 14 December 2020: Czech Republic
No longer on the list from 19 December 2020: Austria: Land Kärnten, Austria: Land Salzburg, Austria: Land Steiermark, Austria: Land Upper Austria, French Polynesia, Hungary, Italy: Region Emilia Romagna, Jordan, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal.
Areas of neighboring countries
- Land Sachsen
- Region Friuli Venezia Giulia
- Region Veneto
Countries and areas*
- San Marino
- United States of America
*The following applies for all countries that do not share a border with Switzerland: If a country is on the list, this includes all of its areas, islands, and overseas territories – even if they are not listed separately.
- Ski Holidays Zermatt
- Ski Holidays Saas-Fee
- Ski Holidays Crans-Montana
- Ski Holidays Saint Moritz
- Ski Holidays Arosa
- Ski holidays Verbier
- Ski Holidays Veysonnaz
- Source of information: Federal Office of Public Health Switzerland
- Matterhorn with Flag – Fabrice Coffrini
- Breakfast in Switzerland – Secrets of Switzerland Facebook
- Flag up on the mountain – Pexels