Last updated: 25 January 2021

This section sets out the general travel restrictions within France and Switzerland. Since CERN straddles both Host States, CERN issues its own specific instructions to guarantee the uniform rules across all of its sites. In essence, people coming to the area from any country considered as high risk for COVID-19, including transit through that country, are required to quarantine for 10 days following their arrival before coming on to the CERN sites. The detailed CERN instructions can be found here.

Entering France

1. Entry restrictions

As of 24 January 2021, all travellers arriving in France by air/sea*, including countries of the EU and the Schengen Area, must show a negative RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival. In addition, travellers arriving from non-EU or Schengen area countries must present an attestation ‘Declaration sur l’honneur ’ at the border and undertake to self-isolate for seven days as of the date of their arrival in France and then present a second negative RT-PCR test.

Travellers arriving from EU or Schengen area countries are also strongly recommended to self-isolate for seven days and present a second RT-PCR test at the end of their isolation.

*These measures do not apply to children under 11 years of age, cross-border workers and travellers arriving overland (car, bus, train). Up-to-date information is available on the Re-open EU website

All countries for which any restriction of entry into France exists (including mandatory or recommended COVID-19 tests) are considered as high risk for COVID-19 under CERN rules: anyone arriving from any of these countries is not allowed on CERN sites for 10 days after arrival in the area.


2. « Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire » and « déclaration sur l’honneur »

Upon arrival in France, all individuals travelling from a third country (all countries except for the European Union member states and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Vatican City) must hold an attestation dérogatoire de déplacement vers la France métropolitaine depuis les pays tiers (certificate of special dispensation for travel to mainland France from third countries), as well as a déclaration sur l’honneur (signed declaration) that they have no COVID-19 symptoms. 

Entering Switzerland

Since 21 December, on decision of the Federal Council,  all flights between Switzerland and the UK and between Switzerland and South Africa are suspended until further notice.

In addition, the Federal Council has decided to impose entry bans on all foreign nationals coming from the UK or South Africa. These entry restrictions apply to stays of less than three months without a permit. This applies in particular to travel to Switzerland for tourism purposes. Members of the personnel traveling to Switzerland from those countries are advised to obtain a laissez-passer from the local Swiss representation to facilitate their travel. For as long as those measures are in place, family members who do not hold a Swiss legitimation card cannot travel to Switzerland from the United Kingdom or South Africa, even for transiting into France.

Up-to-date information on the rules for entering Switzerland during the COVID-19 pandemic applicable to people visiting an international organisations in an official capacity are available here.

1. Compulsory quarantine

The Swiss authorities have published a list of countries and areas with a high risk of coronavirus infection. It is important to consult this list regularly, as changes may be made at very short notice.

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

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

 Exemption is granted to people:

  • who enter Switzerland for urgent professional or medical appointments that cannot be postponed;
  • who have spent less than 24 hours in a country or area with a high risk of infection as transit passengers;
  • 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 having stayed in a state or an area with a high risk of infection on urgent professional or medical business that cannot be postponed.

Quarantine is not required in the border regions when there is no travel beyond their limits (

All countries for which any restriction of entry into Switzerland exists are considered as high risk for COVID-19 under CERN rules: anyone arriving from any of these countries is not allowed on CERN sites for 10 days after arrival in the area.

2. Lifting of certain entry restrictions

Freedom of movement between all countries of the Schengen area is now fully re-established, as is full free movement for all EU/EFTA citizens. For short stays (90 days maximum 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 free movement, namely citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Republic of Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom (see Questions and answers). Citizens of third countries arriving from the countries listed above who do not enjoy free movement (e.g. if they do not have 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 (please see:

In this regard, you are reminded that:

  • Members of the CERN personnel (and their family members) who are not required to hold a visa, arriving from a country for which the entry restrictions 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 are not required to hold a visa are asked to check the boarding requirements and, if applicable, must obtain a "laissez-passer" document from their local consulate to confirm that their entry into Switzerland meets the requirements of the COVID-19 Ordinance 3;
  • Transit through Switzerland remains authorised, except for short stays that are not for the purposes of gainful employment (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 arrive from a country or area declared to be high risk.

Travel in France

As of 16 January, the curfew is effective 6pm to 6am daily. Members of the personnel required to travel in France to carry out essential professional duties during the curfew hours must carry an attestation provided by CERN. The document is available NOTE: this attestation is solely for professional purposes.

Furthermore, it is henceforth compulsory to wear a mask in the departments of Ain and Haute-Savoie not only on public transport, in shops and in public buildings, but also outdoors on streets within a 50 m radius of train stations, schools and supermarkets (see general information on Service public and specific information of departments: Ain and Haute-Savoie  ).

Travel in Switzerland

New measures ( are in place as of 13 January 2021. Travel remains unrestricted across all Swiss cantons. 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 stations and shelters), markets and busy pedestrian areas and where the number of people prevents the necessary social distancing from being observed. Cantonal measures may vary and be more strict than federal ones. Teleworking is a requirement: employers must enable all staff to work from home where it is feasible and practicable for them to do so based on the type of activity. CERN’s telework framework is consistent with the measures in both Host States.