Since 6 July 2020 anyone arriving in Switzerland from a country or region with a high risk of infection must go into quarantine for ten days.
1. Who is subject to mandatory quarantine?
Anyone entering Switzerland from a country or area with a high risk of infection must go into quarantine immediately after entering the country. They must also report to the cantonal authorities
within two days.
The list of countries or areas with a high risk of infection can be found in the COVID19 Ordinance on International Passenger Transport Measures and on the FOPH website
This list is updated regularly.
2. How are travellers informed, and what happens at the border?
Entry from a country or area with a high risk of infection does not differ significantly from entry from another country. In principle, travellers are expected to find out themselves about the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to in advance.
Currently, on every flight to Switzerland travellers from countries or areas with a high risk of infection are informed that they must go into quarantine for 10 days. The same applies to scheduled buses from these countries.
In addition, contact details are collected from all travellers on all flights to Switzerland and on scheduled buses from high-risk countries.
This means contact tracing can be carried out if there were infectious passengers on board and who may have spread the coronavirus. The contact details are also used to check compliance with quarantine in spot checks (see question 4).
3. According to what criteria is the list of countries and regions with a high risk of infection drawn up?
There is a high risk of infection with the coronavirus if at least one of the following conditions is met:
- There have been more than 60 new infections per 100,000 persons in the country or region in the last 14 days.
- The information available from the country or region concerned does not permit a reliable assessment of the risk situation and there are indications of an increased risk of transmission in the country or region concerned.
- In recent weeks, there have been several cases of infected persons who have stayed in the country or area concerned entering Switzerland.
Federal Office of Public Health, Communication and campaigns, Communication section:
4. Who ensures that quarantine is observed?
All persons entering Switzerland from a country or area with a high risk of infection must go into quarantine immediately after entering the country (this is not simply a recommendation).
They must also report to the cantonal authorities within two days and follow the instructions they are given.
The cantonal authorities are responsible for enforcing and monitoring compliance with the quarantine measures and they carry out spot checks. For this purpose, they receive contact details from the FOPH for persons subject to quarantine who entered Switzerland.
These contact details come from flights or bus services selected at random on a weekly basis.
5. Why do I have contact the cantonal authorities at the beginning of quarantine?
The cantonal authorities are responsible for ensuring compliance with the quarantine measures and
for providing the quarantined persons with the support and information they need.
6. Will I be sanctioned if I break quarantine?
Anyone who fails to fails to report to the cantonal authorities within two days of entry, and who evades quarantine, commits an offence under Article 83 of the Epidemics Act which is punishable by a fine (maximum CHF 10,000) (para. 1 let. h), and in the case of negligence by a fine of up to CHF 5,000. The cantons are responsible for criminal prosecution.
7. Do children also have to go into quarantine?
Yes. Children arriving in Switzerland from a country or region with a high risk of infection must also go into quarantine.
8. Are there some people who are not required to go into mandatory quarantine?
Some people may be exempt from the quarantine requirement. The exceptions are listed in the COVID-19 Ordinance on International Passenger Transport Measures (Art. 4).
9. Can people who have to go into quarantine claim compensation for loss of earnings?
No. Under article Article 2 of the COVID-19 Ordinance of 2 July 2020 International Passenger Transport Measures, there is no entitlement to compensation for loss of earnings.
However, in some cases an employer who has sent an employee to a high-risk region may be required to continue to pay their salary, in accordance with Article 324 or Article 324a of the Swiss Code of Obligations. Legally, quarantine is viewed as an impediment to work, and for compensation for loss of earnings to be paid out, this impediment must not be the fault of the employee. It is decided on a case-by-case basis.
An employee who goes to a high-risk area can be held to be at fault if they are quarantined. At best, compelling personal reasons could justify the trip (e.g. visiting a dying relative). However, if the work can be done from home and the employer provides all the necessary infrastructure for working from home, there is no impediment to work.
Employees who have travelled to areas that were considered low-risk at the time of their departure are not at fault. Since this is a pandemic that affects the whole world, including Switzerland, other regions of the world are not any riskier than some areas of Switzerland. Such cases may have to be examined by the courts. An employee who knowingly enters a known high-risk area could be held to be at fault.
10. Can I go out occasionally during quarantine in order to go for a walk, get a bit of fresh air or run errands?
No. The purpose of quarantine is to break the chain of infection. Physical contact with others must be avoided. However, this does not mean that social contact is prohibited. Contact by phone, Internet, Zoom or Skype and similar tools is allowed.
11. What should I do if symptoms appear while I am in the 10-day quarantine?
If symptoms of illness occur, it is important to inform a doctor or the competent cantonal authorities. They will then decide on what should be done, for example to have yourself tested.
12. What if I have to go into quarantine but I am not resident in Switzerland?
It can be assumed that all persons entering Switzerland will have accommodation. A hotel or holiday apartment is also considered suitable accommodation for quarantine. A member serviced apartment provider can be found here >>
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This is a post for those who are a little more scientific amongst the Zurich Networking Group and cannot get any hand sanitiser at the local pharmacies or from elsewhere, or who simply have some “Spiritus” ( Pharmacy supplied alcohol rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit as it is known to as well by expats). It