People who test positive for coronavirus infection must go into solitary confinement. Those who have been in close contact with a person who tested positive or enter Switzerland from a country with a high risk of contagion must be quarantined.

  • Isolation and quarantine: what are they?
  • I have symptoms of illness: what should I do?
  • I tested positive: how do I proceed?
  • I tested negative: how do I proceed?
  • I have been in contact with a person who tested positive: what should I do?
  • My child has symptoms of the disease: what should I do?
  • My child has been in contact with a person who tested positive: what should I do?
  • What financial compensation do I receive in the event of isolation / quarantine?
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Isolation and quarantine: what are they?

Isolation and quarantine are measures aimed at interrupting the chains of infection of the coronavirus and containing its further spread. A person who has a confirmed infection or a suspected infection should stay home and avoid all contact with other people. In this way it is possible to prevent as many new infections as possible. The following rules result:

People who have tested positive for coronavirus infection must go into solitary confinement .

People for whom there is a likelihood of a coronavirus infection must quarantine for 10 days ( shortened quarantine possible under certain conditions ). A greater likelihood of contagion exists in the following cases:

  • after close contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus test. This is the quarantine after close contact ( contact quarantine for short). Certain persons (eg certain vaccinated persons) are exempted from the contact quarantine. Information in this regard is available in the section Exemptions from the quarantine obligation and adequate quarantine rules ;
  • after having stayed in a state or region with a high risk of contagion. This is the quarantine for those entering Switzerland (in short, quarantine for travelers). Information on this can be found on the Entry into page .

I have symptoms of illness: what should I do?

It is important to identify, as far as possible, all coronavirus infections. We therefore recommend taking the test even if the symptoms are mild. The procedure described below also applies to all persons aged 6 and over. For information on the procedure to follow for children up to 6 years old, please refer to the section My child has symptoms of illness: what should I do?

  1. Reduction of contacts : stay at home and avoid any contact with other people.
  2. Test: Get tested immediately if you have symptoms or your doctor recommends it. The related costs will be borne by the Confederation. For more information on testing and cost assumptions, see the Test page .
  3. Until the test result: stay at home, follow the instructions on insulation (PDF, 328 kB, 14.05.2021) and avoid any contact with other people until the test result is available. Depending on the result: follow the instructions in case of a positive or negative test result .

 

I tested positive: how do I proceed?

Warning: This procedure applies to people who have symptoms of illness and to those who have tested positive on the PCR test. For information and procedure in case of a symptom-free test, please refer to the Symptom-free test section : What to do after the test result? on the Test page.

Put yourself in isolation immediately by following the instructions on isolation (PDF, 328 kB, 14.05.2021) and avoid any contact with other people. If you live with other people: settle in a room alone. Normally the isolation lasts 10 days.

Ideally, the cantonal service will inform you about the end of your isolation. If you have not received information: the isolation lasts at least 10 days . Depending on your health, it can last even longer. You can end the isolation if at least 10 days have passed and you have no symptoms for 48 hours , except possibly loss of smell and taste or a slight cough. These symptoms last longer before they disappear completely, so if you have no symptoms other than these you can end the isolation.

More information on insulation:  

  • Health surveillance: If your symptoms worsen or worry you, contact your doctor. The following symptoms are considered a warning sign: persistent fever for several days or a feeling of weakness, shortness of breath, severe pressure or pain in the chest, confusion, bluish lips or face.
  • Contact tracing : the competent cantonal service will contact you. Together you will trace the people you have been in contact with. The latter must quarantine themselves in any case. Attention: the cantonal service may not be able to contact you promptly. In this case, inform your close contacts about your illness. In the Procedure for contact with a test positive person section, you and your close contacts will find information on how to proceed.
  • Covid code : if you use the Covid app , you are free to enter a Covid code. With this personal code you activate the notification in the app. In this way, you anonymously inform other users about the contact. You will receive your Covid code from the cantonal contact tracking service or your doctor.
  • Continuation of salary payments and daily sickness allowance: information is available in the Economic compensation section .

I tested negative: how do I proceed?

Warning: This procedure applies to people who have symptoms of the disease. For information and procedure in case of a symptom-free test, please refer to the Symptom-free test section : What to do after the test result? on the Test page.

  • If you weren’t in quarantine when you took the test: Stay at home for up to 24 hours after symptoms disappear, as is also recommended for other respiratory diseases, such as the flu.
  • If you were in quarantine when you took the test: You can shorten the 10-day quarantine only if the conditions described in the Shortened quarantine section are met .

If you have symptoms again or are worried, contact your doctor.

I have been in contact with a person who tested positive: what should I do?

Warning: This section is intended for both adults and children who have come into contact with a person who has tested positive.

After contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus, in the following days you could be contagious without realizing it. The behavior to adopt depends on two factors: whether the person who tested positive was contagious at the time of contact and whether the contact was close. The following questions help clarify.

1. Was the person contagious at the time of contact?

Decisive period: A person is contagious from two days before to 10 days after the onset of symptoms. In the event of a severe course of the disease, the patient can remain contagious even longer. For people without symptoms, the period of contagiousness is from 48 hours before the test and up to 10 days after.

  • Did you have contact with this person before this period? Contagion is unlikely and you don’t need to quarantine.
  • Did you have contact with the person who tested positive while he was contagious? Answer the following question.

2. Was the contact “close”?

Close contact is considered to be personal contact that is possibly contagious. The longer the contact with the person tested positive, the more likely the infection is. In the presence of a protective device (e.g. partition panel or bezel worn by both), the contact is not considered close.

Orient yourself to the following basic rule: Contact is considered close if you have been at insufficient distance from another person for an extended period without any protection. “Extended period” means more than 15 minutes in total (cumulatively) per day. “Insufficient distance” means less than 1.5 meters of distance.

Warning: the virus does not look at the clock, the 15 minutes are an indicative value. In a confined space (e.g. partition panel or bezel worn by both) and if the distance has been observed, the contact is not considered close.

 

What do you need to do now?

If the person tested positive was contagious at the time of contact and if the contact was close, follow the instructions in the Procedure after Close Contact (Quarantine) section .

Warning: if certain conditions are met, you must not quarantine yourself. The relevant exemptions are set out below this box.

If the person who tested positive was contagious at the time of contact but the contact was not tight, follow the instructions in the Procedure After Loose Contact section .

Quarantine waivers and adequate quarantine rules

The exceptions and rules listed below apply only to the quarantine of contacts: those concerning the quarantine for travelers are available on the page .

  • If you have already had a COVID-19 infection before contact and are cured: you do not have to quarantine yourself for six months starting from the eleventh day after confirming that you are infected. You don’t even have to spontaneously inform the authorities, but you do need a certificate indicating that you have been infected with the coronavirus in the past six months and are recovered.

 Learn more about the quarantine for healed people

  • If you are fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine: You do not need to quarantine for six months after full vaccination. Again, you do not have to inform the authorities spontaneously, but you need a confirmation of vaccination. The competent cantonal authorities may request a corresponding confirmation as part of the contact tracing. Information on what it means to be ‘fully vaccinated’ can be found on the Vaccinations page .

Despite the exemption from quarantine: continue to comply with the rules of hygiene and behavior as well as the provisions on the obligation to wear a mask . It is important to be cautious, as according to current scientific knowledge being cured of COVID-19 or being vaccinated against it does not protect one hundred percent from transmitting the coronavirus to other people.

  • If you work in a company that carries out targeted and repeated tests: during work and on the way to work you are probably exempt from quarantine. Warning: the quarantine obligation still applies to all aspects of private life. The competent cantonal services provide information on the exemption from quarantine.
  • If you carry out an activity that is of great importance to society and for which there is a serious shortage of personnel: during work and on the way to work you are probably exempt from quarantine. Warning: the quarantine obligation still applies to all aspects of private life. The competent cantonal services provide information on this. On page information for health professionals they are also information available for this professional category.

 

Procedure after close contact: quarantine

Quarantine yourself immediately and follow the quarantine instructions (PDF, 325 kB, 31.05.2021) . In principle, this means avoiding all contact, even with people living in the same household as you. If you still have no symptoms 10 days after close contact, you can end quarantine. Under certain conditions, you can terminate the quarantine early from the seventh day. Information on this can be found in the Abbreviated Quarantine section .

More information on quarantine:  

  • Contact tracing: Ordering quarantine as part of contact tracing is the responsibility of the canton. It is therefore up to the cantonal services to decide whether you should quarantine yourself.
  • Appearance of symptoms: If symptoms arise during quarantine, follow the instructions in the section I have symptoms of illness: what should I do?
  • Test: the cantonal service or a doctor can order a test as part of the quarantine or study of an outbreak. The costs of the test are covered by the Confederation.
  • Compensation for loss of earnings: information on this is available in the Economic compensation section .

Abbreviated quarantine

From the seventh day, you can terminate the quarantine early. To this end, the following conditions must be met:

  • you undergo a test (PCR test or rapid antigen test) starting from the seventh day and get a negative result. The tests are free;
  • Submit the negative test result to the competent cantonal service and obtain permission from the latter to shorten the quarantine. Find out from the cantonal office how you should submit the test result and obtain authorization.

Are these conditions met? In this case, you can shorten the quarantine. Until the effective end of the quarantine, i.e. until the tenth day, you are however required to always wear a mask and keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other people, except inside your home / accommodation.

Warning: if you undergo the test from the seventh day and you get a positive result, you will have to put yourself in isolation for another 10 days. In this case you must follow the instructions in the section I tested positive: how do I proceed?

Procedure after loose contact

The likelihood of getting infected is lower here than after close contact, so you don’t need to quarantine. However, it is important that you behave with due caution. In case of contagion, the first symptoms mostly show up within 10 days after contact with the infected person. During this time the following applies:

  • strictly follow the rules of hygiene and behavior ;
  • monitor your state of health. If you have symptoms: stay home and follow the instructions in the section I have symptoms of illness: what should I do? ;
  • protect your family, friends and environment by avoiding unnecessary contact;
  • if your personal and professional circumstances permit, you can quarantine yourself and work from home:
  • if you cannot work from home, then it is very important that you follow the rules of hygiene and behavior, avoiding contact, keeping your distance and wearing a mask, if the distance of 1.5 meters from other people cannot be maintained.

Reporting by the SwissCovid app

If you have received a report from the Covid app about a contact with an infected person, voluntarily contact the indicated Infoline, which will investigate with you the likelihood of an infection and will advise you on how to proceed.

My child has symptoms of the disease: what should I do?

For children aged 6 and above, the same procedure and test criteria apply as for adolescents and adults. If your child is 6 years old or older, the information in the section I have symptoms of illness applies: what should I do?

For children under the age of 6, the following applies.

 My child has symptoms after close contact with a symptomatic person.

 My child has symptoms without close contact with a symptomatic person.

 In my child’s school class / custody group, three or more children have symptoms.

 My son had to take a test.

To better understand the procedure, Inselspital offers an online questionnaire. Answer the questions about your child’s state of health on the website . At the end of the questionnaire you will receive recommendations that will tell you if your child should stay at home and if a test is needed.

My child has been in contact with a person who tested positive: what should I do?

In this case, your child probably needs to quarantine. Information on this is available in the section I tested positive: how do I proceed?

What financial compensation do I receive in the event of isolation / quarantine?

If you have to put yourself in isolationbecause you fell ill with coronavirus and your doctor issued you a medical certificate, you are entitled to continued salary payments or daily sickness benefits. The continuation of salary payments is governed by the Code of Obligations (CO). Your employer is required to pay your salary for at least three weeks. Many employers take out daily sickness benefit insurance to be able to pay 80 percent of workers’ wages in the event of long absences due to illness. Find out from your employer and from your employment contract about the provisions that apply to you. If you are self-employed,

If you have to quarantine yourself because you have been in close contact with a person who tested positive, you are entitled to a loss of earnings allowance. This right exists if the quarantine was ordered by a cantonal service or a doctor. You can file this with the compensation office with which your employer or you (as self-employed) are affiliated. Use the relevant form from your compensation fund. Note: The cantonal service may not have the resources to order quarantine. In this case, fill in the form anyway, specifying that you have not been contacted by the cantonal service.

Medical certificate

Ask your employer when you need to submit a medical certificate. In the current situation we recommend that employers apply a certain tolerance in applying for certificates.  

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