Borders remain open – risk cantons: travelers to Germany need to...


Germany are now ten cantons on the risk list. What does that mean for commuters, cross-border commuters and travelers?

Which cantons has Germany classified as new risk areas? In addition to Geneva and Vaud, the German Foreign Office has added eight further cantons to the list of risk countries. The cantons of Friborg, Jura, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Uri, Zurich and Zug are now also considered risk areas. This means that a total of ten Swiss cantons are now on the list.

When does the new regulation apply? The updated German list of risk areas is valid from 8 a.m. on Saturday. A number of countries are also new to it.


From next Saturday, the cantons of Friborg, Jura, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Uri, Zurich and Zug will also be considered risk areas.


What measures do Swiss people expect from risk areas who travel to Germany? Germany issues a travel warning for the affected cantons. The borders with Switzerland remain open. The designation to the risk area does not mean a travel ban, but should have the greatest possible deterrent effect on tourists. The individual federal states and districts determine what specific consequences this has for travelers.

Is there a quarantine requirement? In Germany, travelers who have been in a risk area in the past 14 days have to be in quarantine for 14 days. Quarantine can be dispensed with in most federal states if a negative PCR test is presented on entry that was carried out no more than 48 hours beforehand. Tests from Switzerland are valid.

Can the quarantine be shortened? People in quarantine can be freed from it prematurely with a negative test. A new rule will apply from November 8th: the quarantine will then only last 10 days. But it will only be able to be shortened after 5 days by a negative test. The German government decided on this change. How the individual federal states will implement them in detail is still open.

Border guards at the Switzerland-Germany border

The borders to Germany remain open. So shopping tourists can enter the country, but must adhere to the rules of the federal states.


Which rules apply to cross-border commuters? In the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, which are relevant for Swiss cross-border commuters, there are currently exceptions to the quarantine requirement. Entrants who are necessary for work (e.g. commuters, kindergarten children, schoolchildren, students, providers of work and services) and people who have only stayed briefly (less than 48 hours) in the risk area (commuters) do not have to be in quarantine. Married couples or partners in a steady relationship are also exempt from the quarantine obligation, as well as if medically necessary treatments have to be carried out.

Can shopping tourists from risk cantons continue to shop? In principle, shopping tourists can cross borders. However, people entering from a risk area are obliged to go into quarantine – unless they can present a current PCR test (not older than 48 hours).

What criteria does Germany use for risk areas? According to the Foreign Office, it is about areas where there is a proven increased risk of infection with Sars-CoV-2. First of all, it is determined in which states and regions there were more than 50 newly infected people per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. In a second step, qualitative criteria are used to determine whether states or regions that nominally fall below this limit value are nevertheless at risk of an increased risk of infection.

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