Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Switzerland maintaining COVID-19 restrictions as of Sept. 12, and will update list of high-risk countries Sept. 14. Disruptions remain.

Alert Begins 12 Sep 2020 10:19 AM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions remain

As of Sept. 12, authorities in Switzerland are maintaining restrictions put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In addition, from Sept. 14, Swiss officials will update the country's COVID-19 travel advisory list of high-risk countries and territories. Travelers arriving from any of the listed countries or territories are required to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Switzerland. This measure does not apply to transit travelers who have spent less than 24 hours in a high-risk country or territory. Travelers will not be allowed to shorten their self-quarantine if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result during the 10-day period. Per the most recent update, the following countries, regions, and overseas areas have been added to the list of high-risk countries and territories from Sept. 14:


  • The British Virgin Islands, Czech Republic, and the federal state of Vienna in Austria


  • Regions of France: Centre-Val de Loire, Corse, Hauts-de-France, Ile de France, Normandie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie, Pays de la Loire, and Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur


  • Overseas Departments and Areas of France: French Guyana, Guadeloupe, French Polynesia, Reunion, Martinique, Mayotte, Saint-Barthelemy, and Saint-Martin


Other nations that maintain the high-risk designation include the following:


  • Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Gibraltar, Guyana, Honduras, India, Iraq, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Namibia, North Macedonia, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Sint Maarten, Spain (including the Canary Islands as of Sept. 14), Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the US (including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam).


Per the most recent update Ecuador, Faroe Islands, Guatemala, and South Africa are removed from the list from Sept. 14. Officials previously removed entry restrictions for residents of Schengen Area countries and the UK unless otherwise indicated. Entry restrictions have also been removed for travelers from the following countries:


  • Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Georgia, El Salvador, Eswatini, Vatican, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.


Domestically, authorities have permitted most activities and businesses to resume, provided social distancing and hygiene requirements are implemented. Authorities no longer recommend work from home, and social distancing measures have been reduced to 1.5 meters (5 feet). Outdoor gatherings in excess of 1,000 people remain banned until at least Oct. 1; however, smaller assemblies have been permitted to resume. Protective face coverings are mandatory at all demonstrations and while on public transportation, including flights.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
Switzerland's travel restrictions and preventive measures are similar to actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medicines will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Back to the COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center