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UK removed from the Switzerland High Risk countries list

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
See the Swiss Embassy page: https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/united-kingdom/en/home/representations/embassy-in-london/coronavirus.html

Essentially Switzerland has two lists and UK have been taken off the risk for quarantine which is good news. UK have not be added to the “not high risk” list for travel (which includes the likes of Australia) - so third country (Eg UK) citizens can’t enter Switzerland from the UK.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@LaForet, @SkiingQuinHat has summed it up much more succinctly than I did (there are two lists and they both apply in different ways) but I linked to the source which says UK citizens aren‘t currently allowed to enter as tourists above - if you don‘t trust that link to be current, go directly to and navigate yourself from the homepage.

Homepage
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home.html

There‘s a nice summary on the homepage, and if you click „entry restrictions that apply to high-risk countries“ it is explicitly stated that it applies to the UK.

PS. I share your skepticism of anything printed in The Local!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
As you can’t leave the UK as a tourist you need either a work reason or Swiss résidence to prepare so I still think this is a materially important step
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@LaForet, thanks for the offer, I will be in touch!
I’m still finding on the official websites that U.K. citizens don’t have the right of entry to CH as U.K. has not been added to the list of countries allowed entry
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/sem/aktuell/entry-restrictions-to-third-countries.html
But this conflicts with @bangwizz’s experience last week...rather confusing!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@gra Yes, I was hoisted by my own petard above as I didn't do what I said other people should, which is to work through all the pages involved, including Gov.uk Swiss Travel, the Swiss Embassy in London, FOPH and FDFA and subsidiary pages. So I stand corrected on my analysis. My excuse is that since I'm not going to be travelling until June at the earliest anyway, I simply can't be bothered to do due diligence (Jab#2 is early June +3 weeks, and then that's max immunisation protection). And at that point, the first thing is going to be contacting my travel insurer and vehicle insurer and see what they say, because if they won't cover me then a trip is dead in the water anyway.
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@gra I drove. When I got to Swiss boarder they asked where is was going and if I had come straight from the UK that day. Then they said: "Have a nice stay".
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I don't suppose anyone has any update on this? There seems to be quite a contrast between what the official Swiss websites say (basically close to impossible for a Brit to get into Switzerland) to what is happening on the ground. I would really like to go to my apartment after May 17. God only knows what maintenance issues could have arisen over the last months (and I don't have anyone I can get to go and have a look).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@JohnMo I'm not aware of any fundamental change in the GB:F and GB:CH regulations for travel. But remember that the Government's Global Travel Taskforce announcement about international travel is due out early May*and also the IATA TravelPass scheme and app is due for release by the end of the month. Both could well change the situation. Although for me it'll all be subject to what my travel insurer will cover (which is nothing, at the moment).

*('We will set out by early May which countries will fall into which category, as well as confirming whether international travel can resume from 17 May 2021. .... Restrictions will be formally reviewed on 28 June 2021 to take account of the domestic and international health picture, and to see whether current measures could be rolled back. Further formal reviews will take place at checkpoints no later than 31 July and 1 October 2021.' from GOV.UK Pages which describes the traffic light system and watchlist mechanism, and mentions an electronic version of the Passenger Locator Form, but doesn't say what countries are in what categories.
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JohnMo wrote:
I don't suppose anyone has any update on this? There seems to be quite a contrast between what the official Swiss websites say (basically close to impossible for a Brit to get into Switzerland) to what is happening on the ground. I would really like to go to my apartment after May 17. God only knows what maintenance issues could have arisen over the last months (and I don't have anyone I can get to go and have a look).


I would make a large bet that if you have a property in Switzerland and need to maintain it the Swiss would let you in. We’ll be finishing à Haute Route trip in Zermatt at the end of April weather permitting so may be able to help you out if necessary.
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In theory you need a Swiss passport or a residence permit to get into CH, but this doesn’t seem to be being enforced at land borders. The situation regarding leaving the U.K. by air is much simpler however - without a passport or permit you simply wouldn’t be allowed to board a flight, nor, according to the current rules, can you even travel to an airport. So it’s more a U.K. problem than a Swiss one at the moment. In the current climate I'm sure the Swiss would love to welcome visitors from 'safe' countries.
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The thing with Land boarders is that Third-party countries are welcome to Switzerland if arriving from Schengen Countries, so it is NOT that it is not being enforced, it is actually allowed as the "boarder" is when you enter Schengen, not Switzerland. Problem now is that I don't think Brits are welcome in France and Germany (without exceptional reasons) so pretty tough getting to that Swiss Land boarder today. But then again, it all changes constantly, so now that UK is over 60% of Adult population having had first vaccination it might change again.

There seems to be no point in PLANNING ahead, just keep an eye on changes and be ready to go at short notice if you want, I mean NEED to go!

Re insurance, I guess I am lucky with my insurance, both car and travel insurance was valid except in respect of anything COVID related. So crashing the car or breaking a leg was all covered. For the COVID part you can now get an add on special insurance for about £30-£40 (depending on duration of travel).
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Never been keen on land boarders; snow boarders are ok, though! Very Happy
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Over-65s like me can't get foreign travel cover at the moment because we're still seen as a higher health risk. Snowheads who are younger can get all sorts of cover but that's insurance for you: the people who don't need it can get it, but the ones who are most likely to need it can't. However, I suspect that once (a) it becomes legal to travel and (b) us oldies have had full immunisation, then insurers will be happy to extend cover again. Although it will be interesting to see how they define the cover for travelling to countries on the Green Watchlist.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Tue 13-04-21 14:01; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
BobinCH wrote:
JohnMo wrote:
I don't suppose anyone has any update on this? There seems to be quite a contrast between what the official Swiss websites say (basically close to impossible for a Brit to get into Switzerland) to what is happening on the ground. I would really like to go to my apartment after May 17. God only knows what maintenance issues could have arisen over the last months (and I don't have anyone I can get to go and have a look).


I would make a large bet that if you have a property in Switzerland and need to maintain it the Swiss would let you in. We’ll be finishing à Haute Route trip in Zermatt at the end of April weather permitting so may be able to help you out if necessary.


That is incredibly generous. I really believe that by hook or crook I will get there second half of May.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just to add my own experience on current rules - I have to fly to Zurich from London on Thursday for work. I am an Irish citizen. Emailed the Swiss Embassy in London to confirm the rules and got the following reply (within minutes):



Entering Switzerland:
EU/EFTA citizens or family members of an EU/EFTA citizen are permitted to enter Switzerland from the UK, regardless of their nationality. The list of high-risk countries does not apply to them, but they may still be required to go into quarantine. For more information about entry requirements, please visit the website of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration SEM. As an Irish passport holder you are permitted to enter Switzerland without laissez passer.

Since 1 January 2021, UK citizens as well as their family members no longer have the right to free movement. They are considered third country nationals and are therefore subject to entry restrictions regarding COVID-19.

——-

So EU/EEA citizens can enter directly from UK, UK citizens can only enter if they have residency or a Laissez Passer.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As Gamsbock pointed out on Saturday, UK is outside Schengen/EU and still "high risk". So no tourism.

Section 2 Restrictions on Border Crossings and the Admission of Foreign Nationals

Art. 45 Border crossings and controls
1 The following persons shall be refused entry for a period of stay of up to three months that does not require a permit and does not involve gainful employment (Art. 10 of the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act of 16 December 20056 (FNIA):

foreign nationals who wish to enter Switzerland from a high-risk country or from a high-risk region and who do not fall within the scope of the Agreement of 21 June 19997 between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other part, on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) or of the Convention of 4 January 19608 establishing the European Free Trade Association (EFTA Convention);
b. und c.9
... .10

https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2020/438/en#chap_2/sec_2
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It seems surprising, given current UK infection rates. Any inside info from CH on when this might change?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
iainm wrote:
It seems surprising, given current UK infection rates. Any inside info from CH on when this might change?


Also eagerly hoping for any insight...
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Quite content for Continental European countries saving our government from the opprobrium of restricting travel whilst containing virus variants is such an issue here.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
achilles wrote:
Quite content for Continental European countries saving our government from the opprobrium of restricting travel whilst containing virus variants is such an issue here.

I'm just looking ahead to later in the summer, would be cheered up at the prospect of planning some hiking and biking.
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iainm wrote:
It seems surprising, given current UK infection rates. Any inside info from CH on when this might change?


Press conference going on at the moment, with a focus on domestic measures. Bars and restaurants can open their terraces from Monday. No mention of changes to border closures.
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Think it will be tied in with EU Safe Country list. Currently only half a dozen or so and well overdue for updating.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/travel-during-coronavirus-pandemic_en#restrictions-on-travel-from-third-countries-to-the-eu
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I’m still keeping a close eye on this thread as my best source of info... would be grateful if anyone else hears any rumour or updates as there’s been no movement in the official position of us not being on the safe list. In particular the UK media never mentions Switzerland or its approach to opening up; focus is on France, Spain and Greece in the main, so no rumours to keep my hopes up that I might get out there by August...
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@Skimum1, thelocal.ch is pretty good for UK links
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@Nadenoodlee, thanks, indeed there was a good new article there exactly on point. Even if the info isn’t new it helps to have the latest developments summarised and helps me feel like things are moving along albeit slowly...
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We are travelling to the U.K. on Sunday. Zurich - Frankfurt - Birmingham with Lufthansa. Had PCR test for entry to U.K. this afternoon. Tomorrow, rapid antigen test to be allowed boarding on Lufthansa flight to FRA (must be less than 48 hours old). Then tests on days 2, 5 and 8 in the U.K. None of the U.K. tests can be used as a 'fit to fly' test to return home to CH, so another PCR test required. Total 6 tests for a round trip, which amounts to about 3 x the airfare. Popping back to the U.K. from CH is very expensive at the moment.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@telford_mike, i went to Spain last week. Only needed a PCR both ways, no rapid antigen. Complimentary wine was replaced with disinfectant wipes
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Nadenoodlee wrote:
Complimentary wine was replaced with disinfectant wipes


I bet they didn't taste as good..... Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Alastair Pink, one woman wiper her nose with it and then put another mask on.... luckily the little
Chocolate was still there and tasted good
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
My journey last week LHR - ZRH then (for various reasons) GVA - LHR (on Irish passport) was uneventful. PCR test needed to enter Switzerland (only checked at LHR Swiss Airlines check - in, border agent not interested in Zurich). UK passport holders asked for Swiss/EU residency docs.

What did happen going back to UK from GVA was the passport agent thumbed all the way through my passport 3 times then asked me where was my entry stamp. I said I don't have one, I don't need one, I am an EU citizen. I then think I heard her say "l'Irlande est-elle britannique?" to her colleague! He gave her a look from hell and she gave me my Irish passport back.
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@Android2000, Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi everyone, I thought it would help those wanting to plan travel to read what I did with all the travel restrictions in place in France, which I believe are now going to be relaxed from tomorrow.

I have just been in and out of both France and Switzerland using public transport, but not coming from the UK. I did the right thing and had a PCR test before starting my travel a few days ago. I was negative. I filled in and downloaded to my phone all the correct forms for both countries and even made sure I had enough cash just in case I was told to stop at the borders.

Well, what can I say. By using local buses and traveling across three cantons in Switzerland and across three regions in France and back again. I did not get asked for any paperwork on any bus or at the borders. Not even a passport. Not a single time anywhere! It really was that simple. The only problem was the bus timetables were not in my favour and so what should have been a 4 hour trip if I went by train took 7 hours on the buses. But I had all day, well from 6am till 7pm to travel in France and not break curfew rules.

It worked without any problems in both directions. I made the return journey yesterday. My advice, if you can find a way of getting out of the UK. I heard using the ferry is the easiest. Then use one of the online apps to plan your trip, jump on the local buses and it is a gamble, but you should be fine.

You do need to be a very chilled traveler as it will be a very long journey. Or take the car and drive on normal roads, do not get any speeding tickets etc. and avoid tolls where you are logged passing through. This also works across France and Switzerland I have been told, even into Germany and Austria. You just need to cross the borders at the unmanned check points, ops, I never said that!

So everyone, happy planning. I do not see any problem moving across Europe now that the borders are starting to open up once you are out of the UK. I guess the hard part is getting out of the UK. My other advice is, just in case you are stopped, make sure you have all the correct paperwork for yourself, your transport (whatever it is) and anyone with you. Then at worst they will just send you back and all you have done is waste some money as you are not breaking any laws.. Hope this helps. Very Happy


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sat 1-05-21 18:24; edited 3 times in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@snowcrazy, probably because you don’t need a PCR test to enter Switzerland by road or rail. Its all pretty clearly laid out online.
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@Nadenoodlee, although from France back into Switzerland you are correct, from Switzerland into France you do need a PCR test even on buses, trains or when using road crossings even in theory when walking across the border which is why I had one. Thing was I was never checked for that or anything else in either direction. I guess the border guys are just to busy doing more important stuff. Very Happy
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@snowcrazy, They barely stop anyone, particularly on public transport (half of Germany was popping down with skis on the Stuttgart/ Zurich train. But if they think your car has a few legs of lamb in then expect it to get turned over.

There are fines on offer but not prison time (its not Australia snowHead )
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So I’ve just come back from a couple of weeks in Zermatt..
Leaving UK on Euro tunnel everyone wanted to see negative COVID test at the check in and Border control, French also wanted to see Self declaration but nothing else.
Drive down was easy enough some French police at the tolls checking for people travelling beyond curfew not bothered with English car.
Swiss Border just got waved through.
Coming back French border to Switzerland got waved through nothing checked, Swiss car in front had all paperwork checked.
Checking in at Channel tunnel wanted to see PCR test, and proof of day 2 and 8 testing booked for UK
French border control just wanted to see passport
UK border control, wanted to see everything, lots of questions on reason for travel, where I had come from, etc, etc very thorough!!

Friends who travelled from France didn’t see anyone at the Swiss/French border either way, but got grilled getting back into UK had to get out of the car.

Expect it to take at least 20-40 mins to get through Uk customs on way back.

Had a phone call from PHE yesterday checking my information and reminding me I needed to do my day 2 test today..

The truth is there’s no way of telling what you are going to get at the border, depends who’s on shift but my experience is you will definitely get grilled by border force returning to UK.
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Travelled to the U.K. yesterday from CH.

First leg - Zurich to Frankfurt: Thoroughly checked at Zurich for Antigen test no more than 48 hours old - required to enter Germany (even if only transiting). These checks took ages - plane took off 30 minutes late. No checks at all entering the airport at Frankfurt (Schengen).

Second leg - Frankfurt to Birmingham. Again, very thorough checks pre-boarding, and we saw several people turned away. U.K. requires RT-PCR test 'within the last 3 days' as well as proof of booking tests on day 2 and 8 of quarantine, plus a completed PLF form. This was strictly enforced, lots of people having terrible trouble trying to show evidence on mobile phones (hopeless). On arrival in U.K. - before we got to passport control there were 2 border force chaps checking PCR tests and PLF forms. Passport control was business as usual with the e-gates.

Wherever you go, airports seem to be taking this very seriously. If you’re flying, learn the rules for each country you’re transiting, get your stuff together and PRINT EVERYTHING.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Bigdog, was your passport stamped at all? The French are being very inconsistent with this.
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Yes my passport was stamped on entry from the UK
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Bigdog wrote:
So I’ve just come back from a couple of weeks in Zermatt.

Very jealous to read this. would love to be out there. How did you get out in the first place? Are you one of the exempt reasons for travel?
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