Despite winding back all Covid measures domestically on April 1st, Switzerland still required visitors from non-European countries to be vaccinated against Covid.
Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Migration said on Twitter late in late April that all remaining entry rules would be scrapped from Monday, May 2nd.
The entry restrictions currently in place will be lifted from 2 May. As of that date, the usual rules for entering Switzerland will apply. You will find information about visas, travel documents, etc. here: https://t.co/QTrv59oqlR
— SEM (@SEMIGRATION) April 21, 2022
What were the rules?
Up until May 2nd, visitors from the EU/EFTA zone can enter Switzerland without needing to show a vaccination or a test. Those from outside the bloc however need to show either proof of vaccination or recovery, or fit into other exception categories, including being under 18.
This created a somewhat contradictory situation where Switzerland has some of the most relaxed rules in Europe domestically, but a stricter entry framework than many of its neighbours.
As a consequence, Swiss tourism authorities warned that travellers from outside Europe, particularly those from the United States, China, India and the United Kingdom, are taking their tourist dollars elsewhere.
The Swiss Tourism Association STV submitted a formal request in March that the laws be changed, saying they had put Switzerland at a disadvantage.
How do I know which rules apply?
One of the most important elements to consider with regard to Covid entry rules is that the country where you reside rather than your nationality is the most important aspect.
Therefore, if you are an American living in France under the current rules, you can enter without showing proof of vaccination, as you are considered to be entering from France.
With rules constantly changing and official sources sometimes slow to keep up, the best way to determine the rules which apply in your specific case is the Swiss government’s ‘Travelcheck’ website.
The site will ask you certain questions about your situation, although no personal details are required.
You will then receive a tailored response with advice on your entry situation.
An extensive set of FAQs is available on the Swiss government website here.