27 July 2020
What is the situation with Covid-19 in Switzerland?
Since 6 July, further measures have been relaxed or added. Many of the previously restricted leisure, entertainment and sports activities are now once again permitted as long as attendance lists are taken, and precautionary measures and rules on hygiene and social distancing are observed.
The Federal Council decided on 19 June to downgrade the status of the situation from "exceptional" to "special" in accordance with the provisions of the Epidemics Act. It issued a series of measures aimed at protecting the population, which are now gradually being eased: further details can be found on the page on the website of the Federal government of Public Health. Information on the current situation, recommendations for the public, people at high risk, the workplace, and health professionals can be found here.
From 25 June, the SwissCovid app will also be available, a contact tracing app that will continue to support the existing contact tracing measures. The download is voluntary, but recommended. Information on data protection can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health.
From 6 July 2020 masks will be compulsory on public transport throughout Switzerland. This applies to trains, buses, ships, mountain railways and all other means of public transport.
In addition, from 6 July 2020, all persons entering Switzerland from a country or area with a high risk of infection must go into quarantine for ten days. The list of these countries and further information can be found here. More information on quarantine can be found below.
Continue to follow the rules on hygiene and social distancing. The new coronavirus must not be allowed to spread again.
Please be aware that the situation on COVID-19 and its restrictions can change very frequently. Therefore, the most accurate information you receive from the official links that we quote in this FAQ Section.
Source: website FOPH
Do the lessons still take place online in autumn?
We are constantly monitoring the situation. The universities are open again since 8 June. However, distance and hygiene regulations must be followed. Different formats (presence, online, hybrid) are planned depending on the school. For detailed information, please contact the responsible person at your school.
Can I still apply for an exchange semester after the application deadline?
Please contact the International Office of the school you wish to study at. Some schools accept late nominations. You can find the contact persons in the infobox on the right.
I am unsure whether it is a good idea to travel in the autumn semester, but still wish to come to Lucerne. What are my options?
In any case, we recommend that you take out travel or cancellation insurance. Furthermore, you may have the possibility to postpone your stay until 2021 (even if you have already been accepted for the autumn semester). Most important is that you get in touch with us as soon as possible to find the best solution for you.
Entry restrictions Switzerland
On 15 June, border controls at all land and air borders between Switzerland and the other Schengen states were lifted. Since then, normal entry requirements have once again applied:
- to all citizens of a Schengen state
- to persons with rights of free movement
- to third-country nationals who do not require a visa who are already legally resident in the Schengen area
- to third-country nationals who require a visa who are already legally resident in the Schengen area because they hold a Schengen residence document.
Foreign nationals without rights of free movement who wish to enter Switzerland but do not fall within any of the categories of exceptions under the COVID-19 Ordinance are still subject to entry restrictions.
You can find more information on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
Questions and answers on entry and stay in Switzerland, the exceptions and suspension of visas
Source: State secretariat for Migration SEM
Visa situation in Switzerland
From now on, Schengen visas and national visas for third countries (>90 days) will again be issued to students.
Source: Website State Secretariat for Migration SEM
I am unable to take an English test to prove my English level because all the testing facilities are closed. What shall I do?
A possible solution might be a letter of your home university confirming your English level. Please check that option with the international offices of your home and host school.
What if I cannot travel for the start of my course?
If you expect travel restrictions, please contact the International Office of your host school.
I am traveling from a state or area with a high risk of infection, do I have to go into quarantine?
Yes, since 6 July 2020, all persons who have stayed in a state or area within the last 14 days where there is an increased risk of infection, are required to go into quarantine for ten days. The list of these countries can be found here.
Please note: Anyone who evades quarantine or fails to comply with the duty to report to the authorities is committing an offence under the Epidemics Act, which is punishable by a fine of up to CHF 10’000. The exact regulations on quarantine can be found on the FOPH's website.
I was on holiday in a country or region where there is an increased risk for infection, do I have to go into quarantine too?
Yes, if you returned to Switzerland afterwards, you must also be quarantined. The important thing is that you have spent time in a country or area with an increased risk of infection in the past 14 days. The list of these countries can be found here.
I have to go into quarantine. What do I have to watch out for?
- Upon arrival, go immediately to your home or to another suitable accommodation. Please note that since July 6th there is a mask obligation in public transport.
- Stay there for 10 days from the day of your arrival without going out. Instructions on quarantine can be found in the FOPH's information sheet. You will find the document on this website under “What you should do if you are travelling to Switzerland from one of the countries on the list”.
- Report your arrival to the cantonal authority responsible within two days.
- Follow the instructions of the cantonal authority.
Source: Website of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
I will soon be travelling to Switzerland and I'm insecure. Where can I contact you if I have any questions?
There is a hotline from the Federal Office of Public Health for people entering Switzerland: +41 58 464 44 88 (6am-23pm). For specific questions concerning the university, contact the International Office via email@example.com or the contact person at your school.
What happens if I get infected with the COVID-19 at the time of the semester start in Lucerne?
Please get in contact with your home and host coordinator to discuss the situation. If you contract the virus, please stay at home until you have recovered. Your stay in Lucerne might be postponed to the following semester.
Student Housing provided by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
If you are accepted for an exchange semester at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, you are eligible to book a room provided by the University Housing service over the Mobility Online tool. A reservation fee of CHF 150.- will be invoiced to you at the time of your reservation. If you have to cancel your exchange semester due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions or health issues, the renting contract can be terminated by mid of July at the latest. The rent for the semester is due by mid of July.