Foreign travel advice

Switzerland

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Summary

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the whole of Switzerland based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Travel is subject to entry restrictions

  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, UK nationals and other non-Swiss / EU / EFTA citizens arriving from the UK or a ‘high risk country’ are not permitted entry to Switzerland. However, exemptions do apply.
  • UK nationals who hold a residence or cross-border permit for Switzerland or Liechtenstein, or who are travelling from other Schengen countries, can enter Switzerland
  • Travellers arriving from the UK must complete an online contact tracing form before entering Switzerland.
  • Flights from the UK to Switzerland are limited. Travellers need to present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR), carried out less than 72 hours before arrival. Children aged 12 or under are exempt from this requirement.
  • Travellers from the UK must quarantine for 10 days from arrival in Switzerland. You can reduce the quarantine period to 7 days with a new, negative COVID-19 test result (rapid antigen test or PCR) and have approval from the local cantonal authority
  • UK nationals are currently unable to transit Geneva Airport to enter France unless you hold a residence or cross-border permit for Switzerland.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

Neighbouring countries may introduce restrictions at borders and conduct health checks. Check the travel advice for any country you need to travel to or through. See our Travel Advice for France and Germany for the latest rules for transiting those countries from/to Switzerland.

If you’re planning travel to Switzerland, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

The Department for Transport and the FCDO have jointly published separate guidance for the freight transport industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

If you’re living in or moving to Switzerland, read the Living in Switzerland guide in addition to this travel advice.

Around 1 million British nationals visit Switzerland each year. Most visits are trouble-free. There has been an increase in reports of theft, especially in larger cities, at Geneva airport and on trains to/from Geneva. See Crime.

If you plan skiing or hiking, check weather conditions and follow local advice. See Outdoor sports activities.

Terrorist attacks in Switzerland can’t be ruled out. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. See Terrorism

If you need to contact the emergency services, call 112 (general emergency calls), 118 (fire), 117 (police) or 144 (ambulance).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.