Entry requirements

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Switzerland set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

You will require a valid passport or other travel document to enter Switzerland.

If you are travelling to Switzerland for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Eligibility to enter Switzerland

You are eligible to enter Switzerland for any travel purpose if you are fully vaccinated and can show adequate proof (detailed below).

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated are only eligible to enter Switzerland from the UK if they are:

  • Swiss or Liechtenstein nationals;
  • EU or EFTA nationals;
  • holders of the following documents:

  • a residence permit, i.e. a Swiss residence permit (L / B / C / Ci permits);
  • a cross-border permit (G permit);
  • an FDFA legitimation card;
  • a D visa issued by Switzerland;
  • holders of a ‘laissez passer’ issued by the Swiss Embassy in situations of special necessity

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated and do not meet one of the exemptions outlined above are not eligible to enter Switzerland.

From 20 September, anyone who is eligible to enter Switzerland who has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or can demonstrate they have recovered from the virus (see ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 status’, below) must provide a negative COVID test result (either PCR or antigen). They will have to take a second test between four and seven days after arrival, and send the result to the relevant cantonal health authority.

Unvaccinated children and adolescents arriving from the UK under the age of 18 are allowed to enter Switzerland and are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.

All travellers arriving by air must complete a passenger locator form. From 20 September, this will apply to all travellers.

You can see what rules apply to you when entering Switzerland using the online Travelcheck service.

Testing requirements

In addition to the above entry requirements, all travellers flying to Switzerland must possess either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery in the last 6 months or a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure. Negative PCR tests (not older than 72 hours) or a rapid antigen test (not older than 48 hours) are accepted. Children under the age of 16 are exempt from testing. A negative COVID-19 test will not grant your entry to Switzerland if you are not eligible to enter (i.e. fully vaccinated or exempt.)

Quarantine

Travellers arriving from the UK, vaccinated or unvaccinated, no longer have to quarantine on arrival in Switzerland.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Switzerland will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. However a screenshot or a photo is not sufficient. Further information is available from the State Secretariat for Migration. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

You will be regarded as vaccinated if you have been vaccinated with a vaccine that either:

  • is authorised in Switzerland and has been administered in full in accordance with Federal Office of Public Health recommendations; or
  • has been authorised by the European Medicines Agency for the European Union and has been administered in full in accordance with the requirements or recommendations of the country in which the vaccination was administered; or
  • has been authorised under the WHO Emergency Use Listing and has been administered in full in accordance with the requirements or recommendations of the country in which the vaccination was administered.

This includes the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen vaccines that are available in the UK.

Your vaccination is valid for 12 months directly after the date of your last vaccination.

For the Janssen vaccination the validity starts 22 days after the date of vaccination.

Further information is available on the Federal Office of Public Health and State Secretariat for Migration websites.

Transit

If you are transiting Switzerland, you are strongly advised to have your onward travel booked in advance and to have confirmed you meet the entry requirements of your destination country. If you are transiting by air, you must complete an online form and provide contact details. You should also check the travel advice for any country that you will transit on the way back to the UK. Further information about travelling through Switzerland is available from the State Secretariat for Migration.

Helpline

Further advice for people travelling to Switzerland is available from an information line run by the Federal Office of Public Health on +41 58 464 44 88 (4am – 9pm GMT). Assistance is available in English, German, French and Italian.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.
  • if you are travelling to Switzerland and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.
  • to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Swiss government’s entry requirements. Check the Swiss Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit, if any, you may need
  • if you stay in Switzerland with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in Switzerland or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

At Swiss border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

There are separate requirements for those who are resident in Switzerland. If you are resident in Switzerland, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. For further information on these requirements, see our Living in Switzerland guide.

Passport validity

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.

Make sure your passport is:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Switzerland, or any other Schengen country
  • less than 10 years old

The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed.

Customs regulations

For information and advice about Swiss customs regulations, visit the official website of the Federal Customs Administration.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Switzerland.

Working in Switzerland

If you intend to work in Switzerland, you should get detailed information on employment regulations from the State Secretariat for Migration.