SWITZERLAND

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Country Descriptions: Switzerland is a highly developed democracy.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: For information on entry requirements , travelers may contact the Embassy of Switzerland at 2900 Cathedral Avenue N.W., Washington D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 745-7900, or the nearest Swiss Consulate General in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco.

Medical Facilities: Good medical care is widely available. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Travelers have found that in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proved to be useful. Information on specific health matters is available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at (404) 332-4559 or via the CDC home page on the Internet:http://www.cdc.gov.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Switzerland has a low rate of violent crime. However, pickpocketing and purse-snatching do occur during peak tourist periods (such as summer and Christmas) and when major conferences, shows, or exhibits are scheduled in major cities. Most crime is restricted to specific localities in major cities that are avoided by the prudent traveler and residents, such as areas frequented by drug dealers and users, the vicinity of train and bus stations, and some public parks.

Travelers may wish to exercise caution on trains, especially on overnight trains to neighboring countries. Even locked sleeping compartments can be entered by thieves who steal from passengers while they sleep.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Dual Nationality: U.S. citizens who are considered to also have Swiss citizenship may be subject to compulsory military service and other requirements while in Switzerland. Those who might be affected may inquire at a Swiss Embassy or Consulate regarding their status. In some instances, dual nationality may hamper U.S. government efforts to provide protection abroad.

Road Safety: Although many roads are mountainous and winding, road safety standards are high.

Registration/Embassy and Consulate Locations: U.S. citizens may register and obtain updated information on travel and security in Switzerland at the locations below:

The U.S. Embassy in Bern is located at Jubilaeumstrasse 93, telephone (41)(31) 357-7011.

The U.S. Consulate General in Zurich is located at Zollikerstrasse 141, telephone (41)(1) 422-2733. At this time only emergency services are available. The U.S. Consulate General will be closing on September 15, 1996 to be replaced by a part-time consular agency offering limited consular services to U.S. citizens.

Limited consular services for U.S. citizens are offered by a part-time consular agency in Geneva located at the America Center of Geneva, World Trade Center II, Geneva Airport, Route de Pre-Bois 29, telephone (41)(22) 798-1605 or 798-1615.

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