2. Travelling abroad - Reporting a return from a high-risk area

Upon their return and using this electronic form, all travellers must inform within 2 days the cantonal doctor's office that they have been travelling in a high-risk area.

 

FAQ

I'm coming back from a high-risk area. What must I do?

  1. Go home immediately and stay there for 10 days, following the quarantine instructions.
  2. Declare your arrival within two days to the cantonal doctor's office using this electronic form.
  3. Follow the recommendations and explanations that will be given to you the day after you will have submitted the electronic form. An official quarantine decision will be sent to you.

 

 

I come back from a risk area and my child has to go back to school, what should I do?

The return quarantine also applies to children. Your child is forced to miss school until the end of his/her quarantine. A negative test does not allow your child to return to school early and is therefore unnecessary.

 

 

 

Declaration of return from a country at risk

How long do I have to declare my return?

48 hours. However, your quarantine begins as soon as you enter Swiss territory.

 

What do I risk if I don't declare myself?

Quarantine compliance will be monitored. In case of doubt on behalf of the cantonal doctor's office, or if a case is reported, the police will be summoned to carry out a check. Fines of up to CHF 10,000.- may be issued.

 

 

Quarantine

I have 48 hours to announce my return. Do I also have 48 hours to start my quarantine?

No, your quarantine begins as soon as you enter Swiss territory.

 

May I request an exemption from quarantine?

There is no exemption provided. Except, within the law, in very rare and exceptional cases.

 

The country from which I am returning was taken off the FOPH list after my return. Can I interrupt my quarantine?

No. The country in question was placed on the list of countries at risk because its epidemiological data required it. It was precisely during the period of time when you were there that you were exposed. Therefore, you must comply with the quarantine decision until the scheduled end date. A derogation is not granted in this case.

 

The country I've just returned from is soon to be taken off the FOPH's list. Can I interrupt my quarantine?

No. The country in question was placed on the list of countries at risk because its epidemiological data required it. It was precisely during the period of time when you were there that you were exposed. Therefore, you must comply with the quarantine decision until the scheduled end date. A derogation is not granted in this case.

 

For new countries on the FOPH list, when does the quarantine begin?

The quarantaine is prescribed as of the start date announced by the FOPH.

 

If I undertake a COVID-19 test when I return from a country at risk, am I exempt from quarantine?

A negative test does not in any way exempt you from quarantine. If you don't have any symptoms, there is no reason to take a test and the testing centres will probably refuse to test you.  If you do have symptoms however, a screening test is recommended.

 

Can I go for a medical check-up if I'm quarantined?

If the medical consultation is urgent and cannot be postponed, you can go to the doctor wearing a mask and avoiding public transport.

 

Will I be exempt from quarantine if I visit a sick relative in a country at risk?

The sanitary risk on return is the same. A quarantine is therefore necessary regardless of the reason for the visit to the risk area.

 

Am I exempt from quarantine if I've already had COVID-19?

No. Quarantine still applies.

There is only one case in which it can be postponed: you have had the disease less than three months ago and you have taken a smear test in Switzerland to prove it. Serological results are not taken into consideration.

 

If visiting family members or friends reside in countries at risk, are they also quarantined?

Yes, the same quarantine period is imposed and hotel costs may be at the expense of visitors.

 

My child is in quarantine but has tested negative, can he/she go to school?


No, your child must remain in quarantine until the end of the 10 days.
Even if your child has no symptoms and has tested negative, he or she is required to stay home until the specified date.

 

 

Quarantine and work

Do I receive a decision from the cantonal doctor for the duration of my quarantine?

Persons in quarantine returning from a country at risk receive a quarantine decision, but this document does not entitle them to salary compensation unless they were declared at risk during their stay in that country.

Persons in quarantine who develop COVID-19, receive a decision from the cantonal physician that entitles them to receive salary compensation during the isolation period.

 

Is my salary paid when I am in quarantine?

You should first check whether there is an obligation in your employment contract for your employer to continue to pay your salary. The concrete assessment is established between you and your employer. In the event of a dispute, a court will probably have to decide.

There is an obligation to continue to pay wages in 2 specific cases:

  • If your employer has sent you to work in a state or territory with a high risk of infection and you must quarantine yourself upon your return.
  • If you can continue to telework despite your quarantine.

If you cannot work because of the quarantine imposed on travellers entering Switzerland and you do not receive a salary from your employer, the following principles apply :

  • You are entitled to a COVID-19 loss of earnings allowance if you are forced into quarantine through no fault of your own. This means that, at the time of departure, your destination was not on the list of states and areas at high risk of infection and you could not have known, following an official announcement, that your destination would be added to this list during your trip.
  • You are not entitled to compensation if, at the time of departure, the country was already on the list of states and areas at high risk of infection.

 

My employer requires a test before accepting my return to work; what must I do?

A return-to-work test makes no sense from a medical point of view. It does not guarantee that there is no contagiousness. An employer has no right to demand such a document.

 

I live in France, I work in Switzerland and I just returned from a holiday in a risk area, what should I do?

It is useless to declare yourself on Geneva territory because it is not legally possible to order a quarantine for a person not residing on Swiss territory. We therefore recommend that you inform your employer in order to decide with him/her how to organise the 10 days following your return. In general, we recommend that you carry out your tasks by teleworking whenever possible.

 

As an employer, can I request a certificate of non-contagion when an employee returns?

No, only the date of the end of quarantine or the end of isolation as stated in the decision of the cantonal authority counts. A certificate of non-contagion, even a medical one, does not guarantee that there is no contagion. As an employer, it is not legal to require such a document.

 

As an employer, I have many employees who are border workers returning from a risk area, what should I do?

Self-declaration only applies to persons residing in Geneva. It is not legally possible to order a quarantine for a person not residing on Swiss territory. Currently in Geneva, we recommend that you find an alternative to face-to-face work on Geneva ground. Indeed, if the employee were to contaminate the rest of your teams, this would imply the quarantine of a large part of your staff. This risk must be taken into consideration among the solutions you are considering. Teleworking should be reinforced whenever possible in such cases. 

 

 

Mandatory quarantine in short


Since 14 September 2020, and by decision of the Federal Council, quarantine is compulsory for anyone entering Switzerland and coming from a high-risk area, for a period of 10 days prior to entry into Switzerland. A negative test result does not put an end to the quarantine.

Quarantine begins on the date of return to Switzerland and lasts 10 days. Travellers returning from an area considered to be at risk are required to notify the cantonal health authority.

The list of states and territories concerned can be found in the annex to the COVID-19 Ordinance. It is updated regularly. The Ordinance also indicates the exemptions to this measure. Exemptions are only granted on the basis of absolute necessity.

The hotline of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) answers your questions on +41 (0)58 464 44 88 every day from 6 am to 11 pm.

 

Measures to adopt

It is recommended that you do not travel to the areas that are listed. However, if you are returning from one of these regions, then you should :

  • Go straight home and stay there for 10 days, following the quarantine instructions.
  • Declare your arrival within two days to the cantonal doctor's office using this electronic form.
  • Follow the recommendations and explanations that will be given to you the day after you will have submitted the electronic form. An official quarantine decision will be sent to you.

Persons returning from a region not considered to be at risk do not have to take any special measures. However, you should follow the health recommendations in force.

These measures are temporary and are intended to better protect the population. They depend on your cooperation.

 

For further information

New coronavirus: Mandatory quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland (FOPH)

 

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