The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has become a worldwide pandemic. The UK government is currently advising against any non-essential travel abroad. Travel to some countries, such as Switzerland, is exempt. Please visit Travel advice: coronavirus for the latest advice from the UK government. Further guidance on the situation relating to health and travel in the two countries can be found on the links below. Please be aware that the situation continues to evolve and could change at short notice.
Situation in the United Kingdom
The UK government is asking people to stay alert and maintain social distancing in order to control the virus. This means that you must adhere to certain rules in your day to day life. Please find details and up-to-date information on these rules as well as information on how to protect yourself on the UK government’s dedicated coronavirus website and in the respective FAQ. Please find more information on Coronavirus and on how to protect yourself on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO).
From Friday 10 July Switzerland is listed as a country with travel corridor exemption by the UK, meaning that persons travelling from Switzerland to England will be exempt from the need to self-isolate as set out below if they have not been to a country without travel corridor exemption in the previous 14 days. For more information, please visit this UK government website. Information for travel into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be published by the Devolved Administrations.
Until 10 July, quarantine measures apply to international arrivals entering the UK, even if they are ordinarily resident in the UK.
Travellers arriving in the UK before 10 July will have to complete a form before crossing the UK border, providing journey, contact and address details, and will then have to self-isolate for 14 days at the address provided. There is a short list of exemptions to these new quarantine requirements and these can be found on this UK government website. Travellers arriving after 10 July will still need to complete the passenger locator form giving their contact details, but will not have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Situation in Switzerland
Please visit the webpage of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health for the latest information and advice on the situation in Switzerland. Please find more information on Coronavirus and on how to protect yourself on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Switzerland lifted entry restrictions involving EU/EFTA states and the UK on 15 June. UK/EU/EFTA citizens travelling from the UK to Switzerland face no restrictions; freedom of movement has been re-established. Non-UK/EU/EFTA citizens will still face entry restrictions to Switzerland.
For details relating to Swiss entry regulations please consult the Q&A on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). In case of urgent inquiries that are not answered by the Q&A, travellers may contact SEM directly (by email or – in the case of emergency – the helpline).
In view of the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Consular Centre (RCC) has adapted its activities.
The reception desk of the RCC is now open on working days between 9:00 and 12:00 for all procedures requiring a physical presence, i.e. for marriage preparations, legalizations and naturalization interviews. All other consular matters are being dealt with by email and post, and the previous walk-in service is no longer available.
Where personal presence is required, an appointment must be arranged. Please contact the RCC in a timely manner in order to obtain an appointment. Only visitors with an appointment will be able to enter the building.
Passport / ID card application
The Regional Consular Centre (RCC) is now in a position to process passport/ID card applications again. However, please note that the RCC is experiencing a substantial backlog of applications due to COVID-19 and it is therefore taking longer than usual to process these. Applications will be processed in order of receipt. In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, only a limited number of appointments can be offered per day. This is to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.
In view of the circumstances it may take longer than usual to renew your Swiss identity documents. Booking any trips while you do not hold a valid passport/ID card is at your own risk.
The RCC appreciates your understanding in these challenging times.
For more information please visit the website of the Regional Consular Centre.