Travelling is an exciting way to meet people and learn about different cultures. But you have to be careful. Travelling can expose you to disease and poor sanitary conditions. In this document, you will find practical information for safe and healthy travel. In a foreign country, just like at home, a little prevention goes a long way.
Embassy of Canada
Permanent Mission of Canada to the Office of the United Nations
While in Switzerland, you will be able to phone to Canada through a Canadian operator by dialing a Canada-direct number: 0-800-558-330. Public phones may require coins or a phone card.
Before your stay
Immunizations and screenings
In this section, you will find the list of the immunizations and screenings recommended for Canadians travelling to the above destination (Switzerland). Some of them may also be mandatory.
Diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles
These vaccines are part of every Canadian's standard immunization regimen. Make sure that you are vaccinated and have received the booster shots when required.
Low prevalence of carriers. Vaccination is recommended travellers staying in the country a few months or more, healthcare professionals or people receiving health care, those in close contact with local residents, parents adopting a child and those engaging in sexual relations with the country's inhabitants.
During your stay
Once there, you should still be cautious as you could be exposed to other diseases. The presence of diseases that could pose a risk to your health has been reported in the country. The risk is related to the activities you choose to take part in as well as the areas you visit.
Vaccination is recommended for travellers planning to visit or work in forested areas and farms, for hikers, campers and expatriates. The unpasteurized dairy products can also transmit the disease. Vaccination is not recommended for a short stay in urban areas.
Vaccination is recommended only for certain groups of travellers such as veterinarians, animal attendants, spelunkers or other at-risk groups and adventure travellers.
travellers who visit infected rural areas, particularly campers and backcountry enthusiasts are more at risk. These travellers should properly protect themselves from insect bites.
The above vaccinations apply to all travellers. For a personalized protection program adapted to your travelling and health needs, visit a travel medicine clinic. Plan ahead: If you need several vaccines, you may need several weeks to complete the immunization schedule.
Prior to your departure, you may want to consider registering for the Canadians Abroad Service. Registering allows the service to contact and assist you if there is an emergency while you are abroad. Visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website for more information about this service and how to register.
If you have purchased travel insurance, your policy will likely include a 24/7 emergency assistance service to help you locate care and coordinate payment. Be sure to have their phone number with you at all times.
The Canadian Government also has several offices abroad that can provide you with numerous services when in a medical emergency. These services include, but are not limited to:
- Supplying names of local doctors and health facilities
- Visiting you in the hospital and providing basic translation services
- Arranging for medical evacuation if your required treatment is not available in the region (note: costs for this service will not be covered by the government, but may be covered by travel insurance)
Make sure that your passport is valid for the whole length of your trip.
Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months after your projected return date.