Traveling to Zurich
Am I allowed to enter Switzerland?
As of August 15, unrestricted entry to Switzerland is allowed for residents from all countries of the Schengen area, including Ireland and UK, but except Luxembourg and Spain (mainland)*: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slowenia, Sweden, UK.
*Currently, travelers entering Switzerland from Luxembourg or the Spanish mainland have to go into quarantine for ten days upon arrival.
Further, unrestricted entry is allowed for residents from all countries which are considered to be non-high-risk with respect to Covid-19, provided that they do not need a visa for Switzerland. The official list is available here. As of August 15, the following countries are white-listed (i.e., unrestricted entry): Andorra, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Holy See (Vatican State), Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Monaco, New Zealand, Romania*, Rwanda, San Marino, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.
*Currently, travelers entering Switzerland from Romania have to go into quarantine for ten days upon arrival.
If your travel route from your country of residence to Switzerland has intermediate stops, make sure that all these stops are in non-high-risk countries (as listed above). Otherwise you might be declined entry to Switzerland.
Official travel information from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) is available here. They also provide a phone info line: +41 58 464 44 88 (06:00 – 23:00 CEST). Furthermore, the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration SEM maintains a Covid-19 FAQ with respect to entry and stay in Switzerland.
The official regulations concerning mandatory quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland, including a list of currently affected countries are available here.
Zurich is a major hub in the European train network. When you are living in Europe or have a long-distance flight to an airport other than Zurich, consider climate-friendly traveling to Zurich by train. Here are some examples of connections to major European cities: Barcelona (11 h, change train in Paris), Berlin (8 h, change train in Frankfurt), Copenhagen (14 h, change train in Hamburg), Frankfurt (4 h, direct), Hamburg (8 h, direct), London (8 h, change train in Paris), Milan (4 h, direct), Munich (5 h, direct), Paris (4 h, direct), Prague (11 h, change train in Munich), Rome (8 h, change train in Milan), Vienna (8 h, direct), Warsaw (16 h, change train in Berlin and Basel).
For timetables and tickets (including tickets for discounted prices), check out the website of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) or install the SBB Mobile app on your smartphone: [Google Play] [Apple Store]
When you plan to spend some vacation days prior to or after the conference and travel with public transport, consider buying a Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex or a Swiss Half-Fare Card. You find information about public transport ticket offerings for visitors on this page of the website of Switzerland Tourism.
Zurich is easily reachable from destinations all over the world. Zurich Airport has direct flights from&to major cities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. The airport is connected to the city by train and tram (line 10 of the Glatttalbahn tram service). Trains are faster than trams, but depending on your destination in the city, taking the tram may be more convenient. Note that the train and tram stations are located at different places in the airport. Follow the respective signs after arrival. Traveling time from the airport to Zurich main station (Zürich HB in German) is 9-12 minutes by train.
If you are living in Europe and do not want to fly due to climate change consideration, traveling to Zurich by train is possible (see above).
The city of Zurich has an excellent and safe public transport system. There is no need to rent a car.
If you decide to drive to the conference venue, you can use the public underground parking garage (Parkhaus Irchel). Parking costs CHF 2.00 for the first hour and CHF 1.50 per hour for the subsequent hours.
Taxis are very expensive in Zurich. We recommend to use the public transport system which is reliable and safe.