Entering Switzerland: official requirements
At the moment there are severe restriction on entry due to the coronavirus pandemic. For up-to-date information, please check the official government website here before booking your travel. Take into account that the rules keep changing as the pandemic evolves.
As of the 15th of July 2021, the summary is:
- If you travel from a Schengen country (most of continental Europe) you can enter Switzerland provided that you are either fully vaccinated or test negative before the trip (for regulations on recognised tests and vaccines, check the website).
- If you travel from outside Schengen and are fully vaccinated, you can enter Switzerland (check how you can prove that you are vaccinated).
- If you are not fully vaccinated and are travelling from a high risk country (including UK, Brazil and India), you won’t be allowed to enter Switzerland. For the updated list of high risk countries, see here (confusingly, they list the ‘low risk countries’, so all countries not on that list are considered high risk).
- Recognised vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson, Sinopharm and SinoVac. See the updated list here. Here, “fully vaccinated” counts from the day you get the last dose of the vaccine (e.g. if you get the second dose of Pfizer in the morning, you can enter Switzerland that same afternoon).
- Children (under 18) travelling with fully vaccinated adults can enter the country.
- The summer school doesn’t count as “essential work travel” so you cannot use that exception.
We expect the list of high risk countries to increase in the coming weeks. For example currently the US is classified as low risk, but that might change as the Delta variant numbers get worse. The information provided on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date; please always check the official guidelines. We cannot be held accountable if you are denied entry in the country.
The in-person event requires a covid certificate. This means that you need to either be fully vaccinated, or to test negative roughly every two days. We will provide on-site free testing facilities several times during the school (self-tests are not allowed). If you registered to participate in person, you will receive an email about this by the end of July.
Where to fly and getting to the summer school
The summer school is in a little village called Les Diablerets, in the Swiss mountains. Geneva airport is 2h40 away by public transport; Basel and Zurich airports are each 4h40 away. Don’t let this deter you: it’s a beautiful train trip through mountains and lakes. If you’re travelling by air, book whatever airport is most convenient for you; note that Geneva is French-speaking, while Basel and Zurich are German-speaking. One can get away with English fairly well in most places.
You can plan your trip using Google Maps, which is fairly accurate for Swiss public transport, or on the official SBB website (SBB is the train network; use the destination “Les Diablerets, Commune” for example). You can buy the ticket either on the SBB website or app, or at any ticket machine or a ticket counter at the airport or in town. All ticket machines take card payments or coins; very few take bills.
You can also use the following set of directions. First, you need to get to Aigle:
- For those going from Zurich: take a train to Lausanne (IC1, direction Geneve-Aeroport), then change trains to get to Aigle (IR90, direction Brig).
- For those going from Geneva: simply take a train to Aigle (IR90, direction Brig).
From Aigle, you can take a cozy mountain train (usually going from Platform 13), taking you all the way to Les Diablerets, which is the final stop. The hotel is an 11-min walk from the station.