Useful information for cross-border workers coming in Switzerland during the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemy.
Last edit: 25.05.2020
Following the measures taken by authorities to fight the COVID-19 epidemy and more specifically the states of emergency declared in Switzerland and in France, here is a collection of useful information for workers crossing the Swiss-French border.
April 24 update: One week after announcing the shutdown of currency exchange offices, the state of Geneva reverts its decision and authorize them again to open.
To free you from those arbitrary decisions, to avoid non-essential trips and to avoid useless contacts with cash, we continue to recommend you to do your currency exchange online with ibani (and save this way on the exchange rate, better than banks or currency exchange offices).
April 20 update: The state of Geneva has announced the closure of all physical currency exchange offices on Friday 17 April, in accordance to federal government instructions.
If you used to use them to do your CHF-EUR operations, it is now the perfect occasion to switch to online currency exchange with ibani with better exchange rates than banks or currency exchange offices.
Swiss authorities have taken measures to stop the activity of many businesses, targeting those being accessible to the public.
You will find below the list of all activities forbidden until further notice and those that can continue to operarte (source: Federal Office of Public Health).
The Swiss Federal Council has reduced extraordinary measures under certain conditions, and as a result the following activities have been added to the 27 April's list of authorized activities starting 11 May 2020 (Source):
April 20 update:
If you work for an employer that is authorized to continue its activity according to the lists above but your job can be performed from home, your employer shouldn't be able to refuse you to work from home and should even encourage you to do so as well as provide you with the necessary means to do so.
May 13 update:
Border crossings to and from Germany, Austria and France should be authorized again starting 15 June 2020.
April 20 update: French and Geneva authorities have announced the partial reopening of some border posts around Geneva. Some of them have specific opening hours, make sure to check details on the website of the Swiss Customs here:
Switzerland has restored border control with Italy on March 13, and with France and Germany on March 16.
For make this measure possible, many small border posts have been closed in order to focus customs resources on the main border crossings.
Map of open and closed border posts in the Geneva region:
Medical staff working in Switzerland can obtain from their employer a "Covid-19 priority pass" badge allowing them to use the priority lanes when crossing border posts.
11 May update:
Starting May 11, France has restablished free circulation without the need for documents for trips below 100 km. Trips above that limit are possible in case of urgent, family or professional situations using that document.
For cross-border workers crossing the Swiss-French border to go to work, having with you your Swiss permit and an ID card is enough for the Swiss customs (source: State Secretariat for Migration).
If you are waiting to receive your new permit, have your employment contract with you.
Movement being forbidden in France, you must present the following documents to French police or customs officers in case of control to justify your trip (source: Ministère de l'intérieur):
If your employer makes you work from home, you will continue getting your salary normally.
If no home office is possible but your employer still makes you stay at home, you will continue getting your salary normally.
If your employer has suspended your activity, he must continue paying you at least 80% of your salary. Many employers pay the remaining 20% to avoid impacting their employees.
If you caught the coronavirus or any other disease justifying a sick leave, you will continue getting your salary and allowances according to the Swiss Code of Obligations and your employer's loss of earnings insurance.
Don't forget that you must immediately inform your employer if you are sick.
If you couldn't find a solution to take care of your children following the closures of schools and that you must stay at home to take care of them, you must inform your employer and you will continue getting your salary and allowances according to the Swiss Code of Obligations and your employer's loss of earnings insurance.
Swiss public transports continue operating, although many restrictions and cuts have been announced. It is strongly recommanded to avoid taking public transports in any case, especially during rush hour, considering that they are a favorable place for contamination.
Purely touristic transport lines are suspended.
In face of the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases on its territory, Swiss government has forbidden any public and private event until further notice, including sport events and events from associations, with an exception made for funeral services restricted to families.
ibani is an online currency exchange service helping you make bank transfers in different currencies at a cheaper cost than your bank or your foreign exchange office.More info
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