Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA

COVID-19: Swiss returnees from Wuhan soon to return home

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is causing uncertainty worldwide. The Chinese authorities have taken measures to contain the spread of the virus. Among other measures, they have put several cities in Hubei Province under quarantine. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is in contact with Swiss nationals in the affected regions. In Switzerland, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) is monitoring developments and taking steps to prepare for various possible scenarios involving the further spread of the novel coronavirus. Updates will be published regularly.

Eine Frau und ein Kind gehen in der Ankunftshalle des Flughafens an einem Bildschirm vorbei, der ihre Körpertemperatur anzeigt.

Passengers arriving at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, are screened with thermal cameras for fever or abnormal body temperature. © Keystone

21.02.2020 – 14.30

Swiss returnees from Wuhan soon to return home A new repatriation of Swiss nationals from the Hubei region is under way. Five Swiss nationals and two of their Chinese relatives have decided to leave the region affected by the coronavirus, which has been placed under quarantine. They could not leave on their own because of the restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities.

The Swiss embassy in China was in regular, even daily contact with them after the outbreak of the epidemic in order to ensure their good health and state of mind in these difficult circumstances.

The seven people left Wuhan by plane last night and arrived in Paris at 10:30 am. After being picked up at the airport, they are en route to

Switzerland or the respective cantons, where they are received by the cantonal doctors and placed in quarantine for 14 days at their place of residence.

This return was prepared by the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre (KMZ) and the Swiss Embassies in Paris and Beijing, in close cooperation with the French and Chinese authorities.

Hans-Peter Lenz, Head of the Crisis Management Centre of the FDFA (KMZ), said at a media conference today that the action, which required a significant logistical effort, was a success. He also took this opportunity to thank all those involved.

21.02.2020 – 10.30

Five Swiss nationals are currently being repatriated from the Hubei region

Five Swiss nationals and two of their close Chinese relatives are currently being repatriated from the Hubei region of China on a flight organised by France (direct flight Wuhan-Paris). They wished to leave the region, which has been under strict quarantine by the authorities since 23 January 2020.

The FDFA's Crisis Management Centre (KMZ) and the Swiss embassies in Beijing and Paris are responsible for their return, in accordance with the legal framework in force.

This time, France has not provided for any quarantine measures for foreign nationals on French territory. The seven passengers gave their written agreement to the conditions formulated by the French and Swiss authorities for an organised departure to France and their arrival in Switzerland.

On arrival in Paris, they will be picked up and taken back to Switzerland. This trip is organised by the FDFA with partners within the Confederation (DDPS and FOPH) as well as with the cantons to which they return. On their return to Switzerland, these seven persons will be subject to a quarantine period.

21.02.2020 – 10.00

Two Swiss passengers travel back to Switzerland

The two Swiss nationals on the cruise ship "Diamond Princess" were disembarked today. They are in good health and are now preparing to return to Switzerland. The Swiss Embassy in Tokyo is in regular contact with them.

20.02.2020 – 14.00

Swiss passengers can leave cruise ship

For the passengers of the cruise liner "Diamond Princess", the Japanese authorities declared a 14-day quarantine at the beginning of February 2020. The quarantine ended on February 19.

The Japanese authorities have now begun disembarking the passengers. This procedure will take several days and is the responsibility of the local authorities.

The Swiss Embassy in Tokyo is in regular contact with the two Swiss nationals concerned on the "Diamond Princess" by e-mail and telephone. They are in good health.

All passengers are closely monitored by the Japanese health authorities.

19.02.2020 – 18.00

Switzerland postpones the Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety

The Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety, which was to be held in Montreux on 27 and 28 February, has been postponed because numerous participants must remain in their own countries to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic. Switzerland has therefore decided to reschedule the summit for a later date. Health experts and policymakers from around the globe had been due to gather to discuss the quality of healthcare and the measures that need to be taken.

19.02.2020 – 12.30

Uhr Das EDA steht in Kontakt mit den Schweizer Staatsangehörigen in China, die sich dort bei eine Schweizer Vertretung angemeldet haben. Es hat vom offenen Brief einiger Schweizer Staatsangehöriger zur Kenntnis genommen und wird diesen so rasch wie möglich beantworten. Das EDA und die Vertretungen in China verstehen die Situation der Schweizer Staatsangehörigen in China. Die Schweizer Botschaft in Beijing und die Generalkonsulate unterstützen die rund 3500 in China angemeldeten

Schweizerinnen und Schweizern bei Bedarf im Rahmen des konsularischen Schutzes und lassen ihnen auf direktem Weg Informationen über die aktuelle Lage und weitere Informationsquellen (z.B. Reisehinweise des EDA, Reiseempfehlungen des BAG) zukommen. Dies wird von den Schweizer Bürgerinnen und Bürgern sehr geschätzt.

«Vielen herzlichen Dank für die Nachfrage der Situation. Alle Betroffenen sind bei guter Gesundheit und stolz auf die Mitgliedschaft in der grossen Schweizer Familie»

In zwei Videos hat sich der Schweizer Botschafter in Beijing, Bernardino Regazzoni, jüngst an die Schweizer Bürgerinnen und Bürger in China gewendet und erläutert, was die Schweizer Vertretungen für sie unternehmen. Zuvor schon haben die Schweizer Vertretungen bereits mehrere Rundschreiben an angemeldete Personen verschickt und die Schweizer Staatsangehörigen, die sich auf der Travel-Admin-Plattform angemeldet haben, kontaktiert.

Schweizer Staatsangehörige können sich auch an die Helpline EDA wenden, die rund um die Uhr in Betrieb ist und Anfragen entgegen nimmt.

Nachricht des Botschafters Bernardino Regazzoni
Message de l'Ambassadeur Bernardino Regazzoni
«Ich habe die Solidaritätserklärung vom Botschafter Regazzoni im Gruppenchat gepostet. Die Erklärung wurde erfreut und dankbar aufgenommen. Das ist ein gutes Zeichen der Schweiz. Der Dank geht an Botschafter Regazzoni, die Botschaft und die Schweiz, auch von unserer Seite»

Sie können Sich und Ihre Angehörigen für Auslandreisen registrieren. Nutzen Sie die Online-Registrierung, um die Daten Ihrer Touristen-, Besuchs- und Geschäftsreisen ins Ausland (Kurzzeitaufenthalte) zu erfassen. Diese Angaben werden dem Eidgenössischen Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten dazu dienen, Sie besser lokalisieren und kontaktieren zu können, wenn sich im Ausland eine schwere Krise ereignet.

17.02.2020 – 16.00

The FDFA is in contact with Swiss nationals in China

At present, around 3,500 Swiss nationals are registered with Swiss representations in China. The FDFA is in contact with them. The Swiss Embassy in China and the Consulates General will support them if necessary within the framework of consular protection.

This is namely applicable to Swiss citizens who are still in the Hubei region and in the city of Wuhan. The FDFA is in regular, partly daily, contact with them.

The Swiss nationals in China who have registered with a Swiss representation have so far been informed by several circulars. These have also drawn their attention to the fact that Swiss nationals wishing to leave the country must prepare and carry out the journey on their own responsibility.

In addition, Swiss citizens in China who have registered on the Itineris platform have been made aware of the Federal Office of Public Health’s recommendations for travellers and the FDFA's travel advice by means of several messages. The travel advice are continuously reviewed and adjusted as necessary.

16.02.2020 – 15.30

Les cinq ressortissants suisses et leurs trois proches parents chinois qui avaient été placés en quarantaine au sud de la France à leur retour de la province de Hubei sont bien rentrés en Suisse, et sont en bonne santé.

Le DFAE a organisé leur voyage de retour par bus depuis Aix-en-Provence, avec l’aide de partenaires au sein de la Confédération. 6 des 8 personnes ont souhaité profiter de cette offre et sont arrivées dimanche 16 février 2020 en Suisse.

Sur place, elles ont été accompagnées par l’équipe du consulat général à Marseille, qui est restée en contact avec elles durant tout leur séjour. Le consul général de Suisse a pu leur rendre visite à plusieurs reprises et leur a par exemple apporté des livres. Ils ont également pu communiquer sans problème avec leurs proches pendant cette période de quarantaine.

16.02.2020 – 14.00

Le couple suisse à bord du Diamond Princess est toujours en bonne santé. Ils sont heureux que la quarantaine prenne bientôt fin et ont organisé leur retour en Suisse.

14.02.2020 – 16:00

Swiss nationals currently in quarantine in France are expected to be able to return to Switzerland on Sunday. They are doing well, said Serge Bavaud, Deputy Head of the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre (CMC) at a media conference of the Federal Office of Public Health.

The FDFA is organizing the return journey of Swiss nationals and their closest family members. At the end of the quarantine period, six of the eight persons will be returned to Switzerland by land.

In contact with Swiss nationals in China...

In China, around 3,500 Swiss nationals are registered with Swiss representations, including in the affected Hubei region and in the city of Wuhan. The embassy and consulates are in contact with them and provide support in the form of consular protection if necessary.

...and on cruise ships

The Swiss couple, who are currently on the quarantined cruise ship in Yokohama, are doing well. The FDFA is in contact with the couple and is sending them whatever they need via the Japanese authorities. It is up to the Japanese authorities to decide when the quarantine period on the ship will end.

Other cruise ships in the Asian region have also been quarantined or are unable to call at the ports specified in the itinerary due to restrictive regulations imposed by local authorities. The FDFA is monitoring the situation of the cruise ships in close cooperation with their foreign representations. Wherever there are Swiss nationals in need of assistance among the passengers, the FDFA provides support in the form of consular protection if necessary.

"Coronavirus" becomes "COVID-19"

At the media conference, the Federal Office of Public Health announced that the World Health Organization WHO has changed the name of the coronavirus. The official name of the new coronavirus is now "COVID-19". CO stands for corona, VI for virus, D for disease and 19 for the year in which it appeared.

14.02.2020 – 11:00

Situation of cruise ships in the Asian region

In connection with the coronavirus crisis, the FDFA, in close cooperation with its foreign representations, is monitoring the situation of cruise ships which, particularly in the Asian region, are unable to call at the ports specified in the itinerary or are even quarantined due to restrictive regulations imposed by local authorities.

Wherever there are Swiss nationals in need of assistance among the passengers, the FDFA provides support in the form of consular protection if necessary.

13.02.2020 – 14:00

The Swiss nationals on the cruise ship in Yokohama are doing well according to the circumstances. Questions to the Crisis Management Centre (KMZ) of the FDFA.

In what way are you in contact with the two Swiss nationals who are in quarantine on the cruise ship?
The Swiss representation in Japan is in regular contact with the two persons via e-mail, Skype and telephone. The persons are in good health according to the circumstances and can contact the representation at any time if necessary.

Can you make sure that the two Swiss receive what they need (medication, books etc.)?
Through the responsible Japanese authorities, the Swiss representation in Japan ensures that the Swiss couple receives what it needs.

When is the quarantine expected to end?
This decision is the responsibility of the Japanese authorities.

11 February 2020 – 14:15

On the cruise ship currently quarantined in Yokohama because of suspected coronavirus cases, further cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed according to the Japanese Ministry of Health.

The two Swiss nationals who are also on the ship are still in good health. The FDFA is in regular contact with them.

07 February 2020 – 14:45

At the media conference of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Hans-Peter Lenz, Head of the Crisis Management Centre (KMZ) of the FDFA, explained the current situation of the Swiss abroad.

According to Hans-Peter Lenz, the FDFA is not aware of any other requests by Swiss nationals to leave the country. Swiss representations in China can be contacted if Swiss nationals wish to do so. This also applies to persons from the Principality of Liechtenstein. One cruise ship is under quarantine in Yokohama and another in Hong Kong. The Swiss nationals on board the ship in the port of Yokohama are in good health. There are no Swiss nationals on the ship off Hong Kong.

Using commercial flights

The head of KMZ pointed out that people in China who would like to leave the country can currently do so on commercial flights. He also pointed out that Swiss nationals are primarily responsible for their own return journey. "Depending on the situation, it cannot be ruled out that Switzerland may provide only limited support or no support at all," Lenz said.

Swiss nationals in Marseille are in good health

Last weekend, five Swiss nationals and three of their Chinese relatives were repatriated from China in a French plane. Hans-Peter Lenz thanked the French authorities for their support during this departure. The Swiss nationals, who are currently in quarantine near Marseilles, are in good health. The Swiss Consul General was able to visit them on several occasions and, for example, brought them books. They were also able to communicate with their relatives without any problems. "They are all in good health", but he added, "perhaps not all of them are as happy about being held for so long". They are all looking forward to returning to Switzerland in about a week's time after the end of the quarantine period. The FDFA is currently preparing the return trip for six people, two of whom have wished to continue their journey individually.

06 February 2020 – 10:30

Passengers on board the 'Diamond Princess' cruise ship at Yokohama port must stay in quarantine during 14 days. Japan's public health authorities are taking care of them.

The Swiss embassy in Tokyo is in contact with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring developments. It is also in contact with two Swiss nationals on board, who are in good health.

According to the local authorities, there are no Swiss nationals on board the cruise ship docked in Hong Kong.

05 February 2020 – 12:00

Two cruise ships are currently blocked out of Hong Kong and in the port of Yokohama. The two vessels are under quarantine due to suspicious cases. The FDFA started verifications. According to the Japanese authorities, two Swiss nationals are on board in Yokohama.

The FDFA is in contact with local authorities and it is monitoring further developments.

04 February 2020 – 18:00

Das EDA hat seine Reisehinweise für China aktualisiert. Nebst den Empfehlungen des Bundesamtes für Gesundheit BAG erwähnen die Reisehinweise unter anderem mögliche Massnahmen der chinesischen Behörden, um die Ausbreitung des neuen Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) einzudämmen. In diesem Zusammenhang haben mehrere Fluggesellschaften ihre Flüge nach China eingestellt und es muss damit gerechnet werden, dass weitere Fluggesellschaften ihre Flüge nach China einstellen werden.

Über Vorbereitung und Durchführung einer Reise entscheiden die Reisenden letztlich nach eigenem Ermessen und in Eigenverantwortung. Dasselbe gilt für den Entscheid, wenn jemand das Land verlassen möchte. Die Reisehinweise erwähnen zum Beispiel, sich vor Ort über die lokalen Transportmöglichkeiten zu informieren oder den Reiseveranstalter zu kontaktieren. Wenn jemand das Land verlassen möchten, dann sollen die verfügbaren kommerziellen Transportmittel genutzt werden.

03 February 2020 – 19:00

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is supporting efforts to combat the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, especially in the affected regions and municipalities of China, and in neighbouring countries in Asia. The SDC is taking action in response to an appeal from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and is supporting the WHO in China and via its Regional Office for the Western Pacific. The SDC's Global Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid departments have allocated CHF 600,000 to the efforts.

Global Cooperation contribution

The SDC's Global Cooperation Department has increased its engagement in collaboration with the WHO China Country Office and the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific by CHF 300,000. Switzerland has been supporting China and neighbouring countries in the Belt and Road Initiative in strengthening local capacities to prevent and manage major epidemics. Approximately CHF 250,000 had already been allocated to information and detection efforts, running a situation dashboard for the UN and studies on the economic impact in the affected countries. The additional CHF 300,000 will support preparedness in other countries in the region, including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Swiss Humanitarian Aid contribution

Swiss Humanitarian Aid is providing an additional CHF 300,000 to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. With 192 national societies and over 13 million volunteers worldwide, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world's largest community-based humanitarian network.  National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies provide a rapid, targeted response on the ground in the lead up to, during and after a crisis. Thanks to their cultural and social ties with communities, the national societies are making a vital contribution to stopping the spread of the virus. The appeal seeks to support broad communication about the risks of the virus and strengthen the commitment and preparedness of local Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is coordinating closely with the relevant national authorities (health ministries) and international organisations (the WHO, UNICEF, etc.) and with regional inter-agency platforms to support an efficient international response to the crisis.

3 February 2020 – 16:00

The Swiss nationals who had been flown out of Wuhan during the night from Saturday to Sunday are accommodated near Marseille, where they receive medical attention.  The French Ministry of Health is responsible for their care.

The Swiss Consulate General in Marseille is in contact with these persons. They are all in good health. The FDFA has no indications of any cases of illness among Swiss nationals who are in quarantine.

2 February 2020 – 14:30

Cinq citoyens suisses et leurs trois plus proches parents chinois ont pu quitter Wuhan sur un vol opéré par le gouvernement français dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche et ont atterri dimanche en début d’après-midi sur un aérodrome militaire près de Marseille.

Le DFAE a préparé le départ volontaire de ces personnes en étroite collaboration avec les gouvernements français et chinois. Deux passagers ont décidé, peu avant le départ, de rester sur place.

«Herzlichen Dank für Ihre unermüdliche Hilfe! Wir konnten direkt miterleben was es für ein Privileg ist, den Schweizer Pass zu besitzen!»
Schweizer Bürger vor der Ausreise aus Wuhan

Accord par écrit

Tous les passagers ont donné leur accord par écrit aux conditions formulées par les autorités françaises pour un départ organisé. Les autorités françaises sont responsables des procédures et des mesures médicales auxquelles les personnes rapatriées devront s’astreindre. Ces personnes doivent se soumettre à une mesure de quarantaine qui va durer 14 jours.

Le DFAE et l'OFSP continueront à coopérer avec les autorités françaises aussi longtemps que nécessaire. Le DFAE, par l'intermédiaire de son consulat général à Marseille, veillera à ce que les ressortissants suisses et les membres de leur famille puissent bénéficier d'un soutien si nécessaire.

Remerciement aux autorités françaises

En raison du nombre relativement faible de ressortissants suisses et de leurs proches parents concernés dans ce cas, le DFAE a donné la priorité à la coopération avec des pays tiers pour mettre sur pied un départ organisé. Ces pays, eu égard au nombre plus élevé de leurs ressortissants concernés, doivent et peuvent déployer davantage de moyens. Dans le cas présent, la Suisse remercie les autorités françaises pour leur soutien en faveur de nos ressortissants.

Le DFAE va continuer à suivre de près la situation concernant la propagation du coronavirus et prendra, en cas de besoin, les mesures nécessaires.

© FDFA

Bundesrat Ignazio Cassis dankt Frankreichs Aussenminister und den französischen Behörden für die Unterstützung bei der Ausreise der Schweizer Staatsangehörigen aus Wuhan. Die Ausreise aus China war von der Schweiz und Frankreich in enger Zusammenarbeit vorbereitet worden.

31 January 2020 – 14:30

Successful efforts by the FDFA: Swiss nationals can leave Hubei province

The FDFA's efforts to organise the departure of Swiss nationals from the Chinese province of Hubei are bearing fruit: Swiss citizens wishing to leave the country can take a plane to France at the weekend. "France is prepared to take the persons requested by Switzerland with them," said Hans-Peter Lenz, head of the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre KMZ at the media conference of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) in Bern. "It is now up to the Swiss people to decide whether or not they want to accept this offer," said Lenz. The FDFA has organized a coach to take the Swiss citizens who wish to leave the country to the French consulate in Wuhan. Free seats can also be used by nationals of other countries, said the head of the KMZ. Here Switzerland could also make a contribution for other states.

Flight probably on weekend

14 Swiss nationals had asked the Swiss representation in Beijing if it was possible to leave the country. Ten of them are now specifically considering accepting the offer to leave the country.

When the flight will take place is still open, said Lenz. According to the current state of planning, the aircraft will probably take off for France during the night from Saturday to Sunday.

After arrival, the passengers will be kept in quarantine for 14 days, probably in southern France. "Swiss citizens who wish to accept the offer to leave the country have taken note of the fact that this quarantine is in place", said the head of the KMZ.

Around 4000 Swiss nationals registered in China

The Register of Swiss Abroad currently lists 4112 Swiss nationals and their family members, some of whom are foreign nationals, in China. By far the largest number of them are registered in Hong Kong, which has so far been far less affected by the corona virus.

Ten Swiss nationals live in Hubei province. Half of them were not in the country on 23 January when Wuhan was quarantined. The FDFA had also been contacted by Swiss nationals temporarily staying in Hubei province.

31 January 2020 – 14:00

Press conference, 31 January 2020, 14:00

  • Pascal Strupler, Director FOPH
  • Daniel Koch, Head of Communicable Diseases Division, FOPH
  • Virginie Masserey, Communicable Diseases Division, FOPH
  • Hans-Peter Lenz, Head of Crisis Management Centre FDFA

29 January 2020 – 18:00

We are considering options to enable Swiss nationals to leave the country
Hans-Peter Lenz, head of the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre
Hans-Peter Lenz, head of the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre © FDFA
Hans-Peter Lenz, head of the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre © FDFA

Hans-Peter Lenz, head of the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre (KMZ) in Bern, explains what steps are being taken to ensure that Swiss citizens who wish to leave the city of Wuhan or Hubei Province can do so.

What guidelines and factors does the FDFA (KMZ) have to take into account when weighing options for the voluntary evacuation of Swiss citizens from the affected region?

When only a relatively small number of Swiss nationals are affected, we first of all explore options for cooperation with partner states that have a large number of citizens in the region and are able or have to commit more resources. But Switzerland also has to take account of the fact that our partner states do not have unlimited resources and that the logistics of actually evacuating people from the region are complex for everyone involved. Countries planning to organise a voluntary evacuation of their citizens also have to follow the local authorities' guidelines and instructions.

Two further aspects should also be mentioned here: first, the FDFA takes its responsibility to make every possible effort to provide assistance to Swiss nationals abroad who find themselves in a crisis situation very seriously. This obligation is enshrined in the Federal Act on Swiss Persons and Institutions Abroad. The Swiss Abroad Act also states, however, that Swiss citizens cannot expect the Swiss government to organise their departure from the crisis area. Second, the decision to leave the crisis region is made voluntarily and at the own risk and expense of the person travelling. Swiss citizens who leave the affected area as part of a voluntary evacuation organised by a partner state may also have to comply with that country's instructions and conditions, for example in respect of quarantine measures.

What do Swiss citizens have to do to obtain information from the FDFA on what is happening where they are?

Swiss citizens travelling in China or living and registered in the country can contact the Swiss embassy in Beijing, one of the Swiss consulates general, or the FDFA Helpline around the clock.

What makes the situation in Wuhan unique?

It's a unique situation because Wuhan is a city with a population of 11 million which has been placed under quarantine. The entire population of the city – both Chinese and foreign nationals – is under lockdown and cannot leave the city until further notice.

What is the FDFA doing to liaise with the Chinese authorities and partner states?

Through the Swiss embassy in Beijing, the FDFA is in regular contact with Swiss nationals it knows to be in areas that are currently under quarantine. Among them are Swiss nationals in Wuhan who are increasingly worried and want to leave China.

Voluntary evacuations of foreign nationals in Wuhan are currently underway and are being carried out in cooperation and coordination with the Chinese authorities. They are doing everything they can to stem the further spread of the coronavirus. The Chinese authorities are imposing strict conditions for the departure of foreign nationals from quarantined areas, which can lead to delays. The Swiss embassy in Beijing is closely monitoring the local authorities' management of the crisis and is working with partner countries to ensure that Swiss citizens can leave the country as soon as possible.

Because the number of Swiss nationals who want to leave Wuhan and other affected regions is relatively small, Switzerland is working with partner states that have a large number of citizens in the region and are able or have to commit more resources. Both the Swiss embassy in Beijing and the FDFA head office in Bern are in contact with the representatives of our partner states to prepare for a possible voluntary evacuation of Swiss nationals.

 

 

29 January 2020 – 14:30

No Swiss citizens are known to have been infected to date

According to the authorities, since the 2019 novel coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, laboratory tests have confirmed that several thousand people have been infected. Over 100 patients have died. Wuhan coronavirus cases have also been confirmed in several other countries.

The spread of the virus is also causing uncertainty among Swiss citizens. As far as the FDFA is aware, to date no Swiss national in China has presented any symptoms that could be traced to the Wuhan coronavirus. The FDFA recommends that Swiss nationals who are travelling or residing in China consult specialised websites or contact the local authorities for information on the Wuhan coronavirus and seek advice from their family doctor or a travel medicine specialist.

The FOPH has the necessary medical expertise and regularly publishes up-to-date information in German, French and Italian on the Wuhan novel coronavirus under this link.

The FDFA is monitoring the situation

The FDFA is also closely monitoring the situation in China and is in permanent contact with its representations abroad. The Swiss embassy in Beijing is in regular contact with Swiss nationals who are currently in areas under quarantine.

A number of Swiss citizens in China want to leave the country. The FDFA is exploring options for their departure and is in contact, through the Swiss embassy in Beijing, with the Chinese authorities and with states that also have nationals in the affected regions. The FDFA is exchanging information with partner states on an ongoing basis to discuss arrangements for the possible departure of Swiss nationals.

The Swiss Abroad Act provides for the FDFA to lend assistance to Swiss nationals abroad in crisis situations as far as possible. However, Swiss nationals have no legal entitlement to being evacuated from the crisis region by the Swiss government. Wherever possible and where advisable, any organised voluntary evacuation of Swiss nationals is carried out in cooperation with third states and/or international organisations.

FDFA travel advice and consular assistance

FDFA travel advice focuses on security-relevant information regarding the political situation and criminality. It includes an assessment of possible risks and recommends certain precautionary measures. For information concerning the spread of diseases and possible protective measures, the travel advice refers you to medical staff and vaccination centres.

The FDFA can support Swiss nationals in emergency situations by providing consular assistance, as set out in the Swiss Abroad Ordinance. In case of illness, for example, it provides contact with emergency services, doctors or hospitals.

FDFA travel advice (de, fr, it)

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