Border guards record 700 cases of travellers flouting Covid test rules

Checking up at the border crossing in Au, eastern Switzerland. Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

Border checks over the past two months have found around 700 people entering Switzerland without the necessary negative Covid-19 test, the customs administration has confirmed.

This content was published on April 3, 2021 - 17:32

According to figures published in the Schweiz am Wochenende newspaper on Saturday, of these 700 cases, around a fifth were forced to pay the CHF200 ($212) fine.

People who could give a reliable account of where they were travelling to, and why, were generally not issued a fine when stopped at the border, the Swiss Federal Customs Administration (FCA) told the Keystone-SDA news agency.

As for the relatively low number detected overall, the FCA said it does not systematically check people entering by car, bus, or train – rather it carries out “risk-based and sporadic” checks.

The FCA also has no plans to beef up its border presence: thanks to a general downturn in cross-border traffic, it has set priorities elsewhere, it said.

At airports, meanwhile, where every incoming traveller is checked, the numbers are lower again: only around a dozen cases have been detected at Zurich airport of people landing without a negative PCR or rapid test. This is explained by the fact that people are generally not allowed onboard in the first place without showing such a test.


Risk list

Since February 8 this year, travellers arriving in Switzerland via any mode of transport from a “high-risk” country or region have to show evidence of a negative PCR test carried out within the past 72 hours; travellers entering by plane from any country, including non-risk ones, also must provide a negative test. Exceptions to this are children under the age of 12.

All travellers entering Switzerland from anywhere that’s not a region directly bordering the country must also fill out the online registration form available hereExternal link.

The list of countries currently considered not to be high-risk by the State Secretariat for Migration can be found hereExternal link.

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