Updated 7 May 21

 

This section sets out the general travel restrictions in force in France and Switzerland. As CERN straddles both Host States, it issues its own specific instructions to guarantee uniform rules across all of its sites. In essence, people arriving from a country or area that is considered by the Host States to be high risk for COVID-19, including people transiting through that country or area, are rquired to quarantine for seven days after their arrival in the local area before entering the CERN sites. The detailed CERN instructions can be found here.

On this page: Entering France - Entering Switzerland - Travel in France - Travel in Switzerland - Summary

Entering France

1. Entry restrictions

As of 31 January 2021, travel between France and countries outside the EEA (i.e. countries other than the EU member states and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican) is prohibited, except for essential reasons (https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/informations-pratiques/article/coronavirus-covid-19). Travellers must carry a self-certification form ("Attestation sur l’honneur”) and other relevant documents.

Please consult regularly the official web sites for the last moment information.

2. RT-PCR test

All travellers over the age of 11 who are authorised to enter France, including those arriving from EEA countries (i.e. the EU member States and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican) must, either at the point of departure or on arrival in France, present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test conducted a maximum of 72 hours prior to arrival, as well as a self-certificate (déclaration sur l’honneur) or a certificate of travel to mainland France (see §4 below), in which they certify that they have no COVID-19 symptoms.

People travelling for professional reasons for whom the frequency or urgency of the trip makes it impossible to have a test, and people making a cross-border trip lasting less than 24 hours within a 30 kilometre radius of their place of residence, i.e. people living close to the land border (see http://www.ain.gouv.fr/coronavirus-covid-19-toutes-les-informations-a6059.html) are exempt from the requirement to present a test result but must present the appropriate supporting documents (e.g. special residence permit issued by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Swiss carte de légitimation, utility bill or other official proof of address.

In all cases, travellers are advised to contact their airline a few days before departure to find out about the applicable conditions.

3. Quarantine / self-isolation

Travellers arriving from countries outside the EEA (i.e. countries other than the EU member states and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican) must self-isolate for seven days from the date of their arrival in France and must have a second RT-PCR test at the end of this period (see https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/informations-pratiques/article/coronavirus-covid-19)

To help prevent the spread of the virus, travellers arriving from EEA countries are also strongly advised to follow the above mentioned steps.

All countries and areas for which quarantine must be observed on entry into France are considered as high risk for COVID-19 under CERN's rules. People arriving from any of these countries are not allowed to enter the CERN sites for seven days after arrival in the local area.

4. “Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire” and “déclaration sur l’honneur ”

Upon arrival in France, all people, regardless of their age or country of departure (including the EU member States and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican), must carry with them a signed self-certificate (déclaration sur l’honneur) stating that they have no COVID-19 symptoms or, where applicable, a certificate of special dispensation for travel to mainland France from third countries (attestation dérogatoire de déplacement vers la France métropolitaine depuis les pays tiers). Explanations and declaration forms are available from the French Ministry of the Interior’s website.

Entering Switzerland

1. Entry restrictions

The Federal Council has implemented restrictions on entry into Switzerland for stays of less than three months without a permit or visa, in particular for tourists coming from countries considered as high risk by the State Secretariat for Migration (see https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/fr/home/sem/aktuell/restrictions-d-entree-pour-les-etats-tiers.html) . These restrictions are linked to entry onto Swiss territory and are distinct from any health measures in force such as testing, health questionnaires and quarantine. Members of the personnel coming to Switzerland from the countries concerned for a short period are therefore advised to obtain a laissez-passer document from their local Swiss embassy or consulate in order to facilitate their trip. Up-to-date information on the rules for entering Switzerland during the COVID-19 pandemic applicable to people visiting an international organisation in an official capacity are available here. In all cases, travellers are advised to contact their airline a few days before departure to find out about the applicable conditions.

Despite the negative test and quarantine requirements applicable to travellers arriving from certain countries, freedom of movement between all countries of the Schengen area has been fully restored, as has full free movement for all EU/EFTA citizens. For short stays (maximum of 90 days in a period of 180 days), this measure also applies to citizens of countries that are not part of the Schengen area but whose citizens enjoy freedom of movement, namely citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Republic of Ireland and Romania (see Questions and answers). Citizens of third countries arriving from the countries listed above who do not enjoy freedom of movement (e.g. if they do not hold a valid long-term residence permit) remain subject to entry restrictions.

With regard to flights involving transfers, as of 31 August 2020 it is the country of origin that determines the applicability of entry restrictions, not the country of transit (see: https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/sem/medien/mm.msg-id-80228.html).

In this connection, you are reminded that:

  • Members of the CERN personnel (and their family members) who are not required to hold a visa, who arrive from a country for which the restrictions on entry into Switzerland have not been lifted and who need to enter Switzerland to take up their duties, must be able to provide proof of their reason for entering Switzerland;
  • Members of the CERN personnel who hold a valid visa or who not required to hold a visa must check the boarding requirements and, if applicable, obtain a laissez-passer document from their local consulate confirming that their entry into Switzerland meets the requirements of COVID-19 Ordinance 3;
  • Transit through Switzerland remains authorised, except in the case of short stays that are not for the purposes of gainful activity (see article 4 of COVID-19 Ordinance 3)
  • Holders of a carte de légitimation, a Swiss permit or a valid Schengen visa are authorised to enter Switzerland but remain subject to the quarantine requirements set out above if they are arriving from a country or area declared to be high risk.

2. Compulsory RT-PCR tests

 

As of 8 February 2021:

- all travellers over the age of 12 arriving in Switzerland by air must present, at the time of boarding, a negative RT-PCR test conducted a maximum of 72 hours before their departure;

- all travellers over the age of 12 arriving from a high-risk country or area,, regardless of their mode of transport, must present, upon arrival, a negative RT-PCR test conducted a maximum of 72 hours before their departure.

(see https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/fr/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende/quarantaene-einreisende.html andhttps://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/mission-onu-omc-aele-geneve/fr/documents/COVID-19-Notice-informative-sur-les-mesures-sanitaires-et-controles-aux-frontieres_FR.pdf)

3. Compulsory quarantine

A negative RT-PCR test does not exempt travellers from the obligation to quarantine on arrival in Switzerland (see https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/fr/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende/quarantaene-einreisende.html).

Individuals who have spent time in a high-risk country for COVID-19 at any point in the 10 days prior to entering Switzerland are required to:

  • go to their home or other suitable accommodation immediately after entering Switzerland and remain there at all times for 10 days (this duration may be reduced to seven days under certain conditions)
  • follow the instructions on quarantine (see instructions on quarantine);
  • declare their arrival in Switzerland to the competent cantonal authorities within two days and follow their instructions.

It is important to consult this link regularly, as changes may be made at very short notice.

Exemption is granted to people:

  • who enter Switzerland for essential professional or medical business that cannot be postponed;
  • who have spent less than 24 hours as transit passengers in a country or area with a high risk of infection;
  • who enter Switzerland only to transit through it and who intend and are able to travel on directly to another country;
  • who are returning to Switzerland following a stay in a country or area with a high risk of infection on essential professional or medical business that cannot be postponed.

Quarantine is not required in the border regions if there is no travel beyond their limits (https://www.bag.admin.ch/dam/bag/en/dokumente/cc/kom/faq-quarantaene-grenzregionen.pdf.download.pdf/200911_FAQ_FOPH_Quarantine_Border_regions.pdf).

All countries for which quarantine must be observed on entry into Switzerland are considered as high risk for COVID-19 under CERN's rules. People arriving from any of these countries are not allowed to enter the CERN sites for seven days after their arrival in the local area.

TRAVEL IN FRANCE

As of 3rd May, a schedule for a lightening lockdown measures is on place, please consult https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus “Les étapes du déconfinement” for details.

The curfew is maintained; please follow the situation and the members of the personnel who are required to travel during the hours of curfew in order to carry out essential professional duties must carry a certificate issued by CERN.  This document can be downloaded from: https://cern.ch/cesaam.

Additional restrictions are in force in certain departments (wearing of masks in public areas, closure of shops, etc.): details can be found on the general information web pages of the Service public and the web pages of the Ain and Haute-Savoie departments.

TRAVEL IN SWITZERLAND

A summary of the measures in force as at 22 March 2021 is available here: https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/fr/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/massnahmen-des-bundes.html. Travel within the Swiss cantons is not subject to any restrictions. However, it is compulsory to wear a mask in both enclosed and outdoor areas that are accessible to the public, such as public transport (including train platforms and bus and tram stops), markets and busy pedestrian areas, and where the number of people prevents the necessary social distancing from being observed. Cantonal measures may vary from one canton to another and may be more strict than federal measures. Teleworking is currently compulsory: employers must enable their staff to work from home where it is feasible and practicable for them to do so, according to the type of activity. CERN’s teleworking framework is consistent with the measures in force in both Host States.

 

Summary (entry conditions)

FRANCE

 

European area*

UK

Non-European Union

RT-PCR test

tick tick tick

2nd RT-PCR test after 7 days

Strongly recommended

tick tick

Self-certificate (Déclaration sur l’honneur)

tick tick tick

Self-isolation for 7 days

Strongly recommended

tick tick

*EU member states and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican

Exceptions to the RT-PCR testing requirement: children under the age of 11, cross-border workers, people residing within a 30 km radius of the border. 

 

SWITZERLAND

 

European Union

Non-European Union

High-risk country/area

RT-PCR test*

tick

 (air/sea travellers and/or high-risk country/area)

tick

 (air/sea travellers and high-risk country/area)

tick

Collection of contact data (arrival by air, sea, coach or train)**

tick tick tick

10-day quarantine***

tick

 (people arriving for a high-risk country/area)

tick

 (people arriving from a high-risk country/area)

tick

*Exceptions to the RT-PCR testing requirement: daily commuters (e.g. cross-border workers, children attending Swiss schools) and children below the age of 12.

** Exemption from contact-data collection for people arriving from border areas that have close economic, social and cultural ties with Switzerland (https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/message/attachments/65074.pdf).

***Exceptions to quarantine requirement: essential medical appointments, transit passengers, return to Switzerland after travel for essential professional or medical reasons. Swiss quarantine may be shortened to seven days under certain conditions (seehttps://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/mission-onu-omc-aele-geneve/fr/documents/COVID-19-Notice-informative-sur-les-mesures-sanitaires-et-controles-aux-frontieres_FR.pdf.

Exceptions to the quarantine requirement are possible subject to a specific request to the Swiss authorities (see https://www.admin.ch/gov/fr/accueil/documentation/communiques/communiques-conseil-federal.msg-id-82136.html).