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US Citizen residing in Switzerland need to return home

US Citizen residing in Switzerland need to return home

Old May 24, 20, 1:42 am
  #1  
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US Citizen residing in Switzerland need to return home

HI everyone,

I researched the threads and maybe missed what I needed so apologies if this is answered already!

I find the information on the various government websites very contradictory and confusing.

Here si my situation:

US Citizen, resident of Switzerland

I need to return to USA to take care of some family issues with parents.

The burning question:

Do I or do I not need to self quarantine for 14 days? I am planning on staying about 10 days at the moment and I need free movement to get things done.

Thank you in advance!
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Old May 24, 20, 2:04 am
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Depends on the State. There is no Federal quarantine requirement in the US.
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Old May 24, 20, 2:11 am
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Where are you going?
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Old May 24, 20, 4:14 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Where are you going?
Yea, really important to know where you're going. Currently there's only one flight ZRH-EWR Wednesday, Friday and Sunday operated by LX. According to CBS quarantine should be enforced by DHS but actually is not in NJ. According to DHS "Upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to enhanced entry screening where the passenger will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will then be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices." DHS doesn't state, for how long that home-quarantine should last. CDC guidelines say, you should stay home for 14 days after international travel. So that 10 day visit is not going to work out.
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Last edited by KL803; May 24, 20 at 4:29 am Reason: additional info
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Old May 24, 20, 4:40 am
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I'm also wondering what the rules/recommendations are for return to Switzerland, as it would seem much more likely you would pick up the virus in the US than bring it there in the first place.
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Old May 24, 20, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by largeeyes View Post
I'm also wondering what the rules/recommendations are for return to Switzerland, as it would seem much more likely you would pick up the virus in the US than bring it there in the first place.
There are no regulations for international visitors to Switzerland, see the official website BAG/FOPH.
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Last edited by KL803; May 24, 20 at 9:00 am Reason: link corrected
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Old May 24, 20, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by KL803 View Post
Yea, really important to know where you're going. Currently there's only one flight ZRH-EWR Wednesday, Friday and Sunday operated by LX. According to CBS quarantine should be enforced by DHS but actually is not in NJ. According to DHS "Upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to enhanced entry screening where the passenger will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will then be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices." DHS doesn't state, for how long that home-quarantine should last. CDC guidelines say, you should stay home for 14 days after international travel. So that 10 day visit is not going to work out.
Where you are going is important if you arrive in the US on this flight and then intend to fly onward. Many states have 14 day quarantine if traveling from other states, NJ in particular due to not being a hotspot.
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Old May 24, 20, 7:00 am
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Originally Posted by KL803 View Post
There are no regulations for international visitors to Switzerland, see the official website.

The quoted link seems to be bad, and I don't believe that statement is accurate: there ARE regulations, but there is no quarantine requirement for persons free of symptoms.


Here's the official website:
https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...-reisende.html

Excerpt (bolding mine):
"If you are travelling to Switzerland, you must observe the applicable rules on hygiene and social distancing issued by the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH. On arrival, please pay attention to the instructions posted at border crossings, railway stations and airports.

There is no quarantine requirement for travellers entering Switzerland who are free of symptoms of illness."
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Old May 24, 20, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
The quoted link seems to be bad, and I don't believe that statement is accurate: there ARE regulations, but there is no quarantine requirement for persons free of symptoms.
Thanks, I corrected the link. And yes, there are some regulations, I would rather call them recommendations (masks if in crowded places/trains, physical distancing, hygiene, gatherings of more than 5 people prohibited so far). Switzerland is pretty much open for business, but travel-restrictions from abroad make things difficult.
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Old May 24, 20, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by KL803 View Post
Yea, really important to know where you're going. Currently there's only one flight ZRH-EWR Wednesday, Friday and Sunday operated by LX. According to CBS quarantine should be enforced by DHS but actually is not in NJ. According to DHS "Upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to enhanced entry screening where the passenger will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will then be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices." DHS doesn't state, for how long that home-quarantine should last. CDC guidelines say, you should stay home for 14 days after international travel. So that 10 day visit is not going to work out.
To add to this, the testing availability at your destination also impacts things. If you're going to a place like San Francisco or LA that has testing available regardless of medical need, getting a test after you arrive and staying in while you wait for the test seems totally reasonable. Self-quarantine is a blunt instrument to ensure that you don't become an asymptomatic spreader, but testing (if available) serves the same purpose more efficiently.

If you're going to a place that still has restrictions on tests, you may still qualify if you're going to be taking care of your parents, or just due to your recent international travel. Either way, I'm assuming your parents are in an at-risk group unless you're pretty young, so this is the right thing to do regardless if you're going to be in contact with them.

If you can't book a test after arrival for whatever reason, I'm not going to judge what is and isn't urgent, so if you really need to travel go do it. But, just be careful and sane upon arrival, mask up and keep your distance when going about your business. Of course, you have to plan for the possibility that you do test positive and you'll have to ride out a few weeks in the US (hopefully at home, not a hospital). Good luck.
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