New test and quarantine reduction strategy: requirement for a negative PCR test as of 8 February 2021 - Tax and Legal blog

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On 27 January 2021 the Federal Council took a range of decisions to further contain and overcome the coronavirus pandemic. As of 8 February 2021, a new test and quarantine reduction strategy will be in place and traveller contact data will be collected more comprehensively.

New test and quarantine reduction strategy

As of 8 February 2021 the following persons must present a negative PCR-test that is no older than 72 hours by the time of entering Switzerland;

  • Persons entering Switzerland by any mean of transportation who have been in a state or region with an increased risk of infection at any time within 10 days prior to entry;
  • Persons entering Switzerland by plane whether the departure state or region has an increased risk of infection or not.

The requirement of a negative PCR-test is not applicable to children under age 12.

As before, all individuals travelling to Switzerland from a state or region with an increased risk of infection must enter a 10-day quarantine period, even in the case of a negative test-result. The 10-day quarantine can be reduced if the person is tested after 7 days (with both antigen and PCR tests acceptable) and the result is negative. The early termination of the quarantine must be approved by the responsible cantonal authority and may imply certain restrictions (e.g. wearing of a mask and social distancing).

Important: For air travel to Switzerland, a negative PCR test result must be presented, regardless of whether the entry is from a high risk state and region or not. The control takes place before boarding the aircraft.

Wider coverage of contact data

So far, only the contact details of persons entering Switzerland from high risk states or regions have been recorded. Going forward, all incoming travellers travelling by air, train, bus or boat will be required to provide their contact information and report their arrival in Switzerland prior to entry. The contact details must be provided through and one form must be completed for each person. Persons living in an area bordering Switzerland are exempt from this requirement if they can provide a cross border work permit or confirmation of residence showing that one lives in a border area.

For an overview of the list of states and regions with an increased risk of infection, please visit the world map published and updated by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). For more detailed information regarding the quarantine regulations, please visit the website of FOPH.

Deloitte's view: 

For the first time Switzerland has now implemented the requirement of PCR-Tests for entries to Switzerland as another measure to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

If travelling to Switzerland on or after 8 February 2021, make sure that the following preparations have been made:

  • in possession of the necessary travel documents
  • the planned route has been checked – flights can be cancelled at short notice due to Covid outbreaks
  • that a negative PCR test is available
  • that you are ready to self-quarantine upon arrival, if needed.

If you would like to discuss more on this topic, please do reach out to our key contacts below.


Key contacts


David Wigersma - Partner, Global Employer Services

David has 20 years of experience in the area of international corporate and individual taxation planning. He specialises in addressing the complex compliance needs of a cross-border workforce with varied elements of compensation.


Julia Stutzer - 110x110 (1)

Julia Stutzer - Director, Immigration

Julia is an Immigration Director at Deloitte in Switzerland. She has been supporting both global companies as well as medium and small sized enterprises with their immigration needs for more than 10 years. Julia puts her focus on immigration advisory services, advising clients on best practice and coordinating complex interdisciplinary requests with the tax and social security teams.


Nielsen  Julie

Julie Nielsen - Manager, Immigration

Julie is an Immigration Manager at Deloitte in Switzerland. She has profound knowledge in Swiss Immigration Law and advises both domestic and international companies in providing client-tailored immigration solutions for every-day business and complex individual cases. Julie has 7 years of experience as an immigration consultant.


Pinar Top_1 blog

Pinar Top - Consultant, Immigration

Pinar is an immigration consultant within Deloitte’s Global Employer Services. In that role, she liaises with clients and Swiss authorities to facilitate processes for clients and their families, ensuring their comfortable immigration to Switzerland. Pinar holds Master’s degree in law from the University of Zurich. Pinar studied in Zurich, Istanbul, and Lausanne and she is fluent in several languages, including English, German and Italian. Prior to joining Deloitte in July 2018, she worked in a law office, in a district court, and public administration in Switzerland.



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