Switzerland VTL: No more pre-departure test required

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Switzerland scraps its pre-departure test requirement for Singaporeans, making travel there just like the good old days again.

Switzerland has removed its pre-departure test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers from Singapore, scratching one more thing off your to-do list for VTL travel. 

If you’re struggling to keep up with the latest requirements, you’re not alone. Switzerland’s testing regime for Singaporeans has changed three times in two months:

But I’m not complaining about this latest change, which removes all testing requirements from the Switzerland side.

Switzerland scraps pre-departure testing

No more tests when flying to Zurich

Travellers to Switzerland currently need to present a negative COVID-19 ART or PCR test result, taken within 24 or 72 hours prior to departure respectively.

From Saturday, 22 January 2022, this requirement will be removed for those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. 

From Saturday, 22 January, persons who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 will no longer be required to present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test before entering Switzerland

Swiss FOPH

Switzerland recognises the following COVID-19 vaccinations, and your certificate of vaccination or recovery is valid for 270 days from the date of your last dose/positive test.

  • Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2 / Comirnaty® / Tozinameran)
  • Moderna (mRNA-1273 / Spikevax / COVID-19 vaccine Moderna)
  • AstraZeneca (AZD1222 Vaxzevria®/ Covishield™)
  • Janssen / Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)
  • Sinopharm / BIBP (SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell))
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac)
  • COVAXIN®

Travellers to Switzerland will still need to complete an entry form within 48 hours prior to arrival. This form requests contact details for the purposes of contact tracing, and ensuring the required tests (if any) have been done. 

Swiss Entry Form

Cross-border commuters and people traveling to Switzerland from the following border regions are exempt from filling this form, provided they are not entering Switzerland by long-distance coach or plane. 

  • Regions in Germany: Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria
  • Regions in France: Grand-Est, Burgundy/Franche Comté and Auvergne/Rhône-Alpes
  • Regions in Italy: Piemont, Aosta Valley, Lombardy and Trentino/South Tyrol
  • Regions in Austria: Tyrol and Vorarlberg
  • Regions in Liechtenstein: the whole Principality of Liechtenstein

In other words, you don’t need to fill this form if you’re entering Switzerland from one of these regions via train.

Switzerland VTL: Overall testing regime

With the latest changes, here’s what the testing regime for round-trip travel to Switzerland will look like. 

Singapore-Switzerland VTL
DayTestCost
Within 2 days before departure to SingaporeProfessional ART/PCR Varies
Day 1 (arrival in Singapore)PCR
S$125 (PCR)
Day 2Self-administered ART*~S$5
Day 3Self-administered ART*~S$5
Day 4Self-administered ART*~S$5
Day 5Self-administered ART*~S$5
Day 6Self-administered ART*~S$5
Day 7Self-administered ART*~S$5
*Only required if you intend to head out of the hotel/home on that day

Do note that the above table applies to those entering Singapore from 24 January 2022 onwards, when Singapore modifies its post-arrival testing regime for VTL travellers. There is no longer any need for supervised swabs on Days 3 & 7, or to report the results of self-administered ARTs. Travellers will only need to swab themselves on days they intend to leave their accommodation. 

VTL flights from Switzerland

Both Singapore Airlines and SWISS currently operate VTL flights from Zurich to Singapore as follows.

FlightsDays
SQ345
SMTWTFS
ZRH
1035
SIN
0600 (+1)
LX176
SMTWTFS
ZRH
1310
SIN
0830 (+1)
     

SWISS has yet to confirm its VTL schedule for flights from 26 March 2022 onwards.

As a reminder, here’s the requirements for VTL travel to Singapore. 

✈️ Summary: VTL travel to Singapore
To Singapore 🇸🇬
  • 14 day travel history: Singapore or any Category I/ VTL country
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. S$30K coverage (short-term visitors only)
  • Apply for VTP (short-term visitors and long-term pass holders only)
  • Fully vaccinated with WHO EUL vaccine (age 12 and below exempt)
  • Complete SG Arrival Card
  • Take pre-departure ART/PCR test 2 days before flight (age 2 and below exempt)
  • Take designated VTL flight to Singapore
  • Take PCR test on arrival in Singapore (pre-booking required) and isolate until result is out (age 2 and below exempt)
  • Take self-administered ART swabs on Days 2-7 if leaving accommodation (age 2 and below exempt)

Conclusion

Switzerland beckons

Switzerland has scrapped its pre-departure testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers from Singapore. This was more of an annoyance than a financial burden (given that the cheaper ART swabs were already accepted), but Switzerland is already an expensive place to go, and every bit helps.

The elimination of pre-departure testing means that, for all intents and purposes, travel to Switzerland is exactly the same as it was pre-COVID (OK fine, there’s the entry form). Let’s hope this is the start of a broader trend across Europe as their Omicron wave peaks and subsides.

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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James Quek

Aaron, the 270 days after the last vaccination dose refers to 2nd or 3rd dose?

Amos

Yeah. Kinda curious too because there’s vaccination date, and then there’s the date when one is considered vaccinated. And then there are those like me who did the booster in November, meaning a year-end booking isn’t going to work (270 day validity ends in Sept 2022). I guess with the changing regulations, one can only plan short-term at this point.

Jeremy

I am probably more concerned about being tested positive and stranded there. Aaron would you know if Switzerland does quarantine at hotels if tested positive and if there is a list of such hotels? I can’t seem to find any list or guideline besides having to isolate

Muneer

The entry form is no longer required:-)

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