The Department of foreign Affairs (DFA) performs during the Corona-crisis an “unprecedented” return action for the Swiss abroad – accompanied by critical voices of tourists, who feel left alone. Johannes Matyassy (63), Director of Consular services in the VIEW-Interview position.

Johannes Matyassy: The callers are under enormous pressure, have a lot of problems. We understand very well. But also we had to first adjust to the new Situation and the organization’s high drive. The EDA nationals in Bern and in our representations provide – together with the airlines a huge amount of work.

Yes. We get very many thank-you emails from people who have returned. But this is not, of course, in the media. Also, the calls to the Helpline are to become factual.

We in the EDA of us are accustomed to cope with crises. But almost a global Shutdown, I have never experienced. We had to quickly bring additional staff from other departments. At the same time, we were flooded with requests, we still had no answers. Were added at the beginning of technical problems. It took a Moment until we were able to reply to all. We regret the.

Some Swiss have a fully comprehensive insurance mentality and the feeling with the Swiss Pass will give you the red carpet to be rolled out. However, in such a global crisis, we are not spared also. First of all, you need to act on their own responsibility and try to organise a return flight. Without this initiative many more people would wait on a return flight. Therefore, the EDA has encouraged the first travellers to return, and only in a second Phase, the return flights started. We are grateful that so many are self-returned.


Johannes Matyassy, Director of the Consular Directorate. This operates the FDFA Helpline, supported by the embassies abroad and promotes the interests of the Swiss abroad. The return action in the Wake of the Corona-crisis brought Wednesday evening around 1850 Swiss in your home.

Some of the difficulties estimate, not have noticed on your trip, maybe even, what’s going on in the world. You have a rest in remote places, and realize only in Switzerland – in the empty train – what’s going on.

I can’t tell you the exact number. On our Travel-Admin-App 12’863 travelers are still registered. But not all use the App – the number of unreported cases is likely to be large. Therefore, I ask all, who are still abroad, download the App and register your trip. So we can plan the return flights.

We want to bring so long as you can back to the people. But the only Problem is the flights are not. The Swiss are looking for solitude, you travel to remote places, far away from the airport. So you need to get there first. This is difficult when a curfew was imposed, and the diploma requires a table of skill.

Yes. Solidarity is an important part of our strategy. In India, for example, we try now to leave the Swiss with foreign pilots to fly back. So far, we have brought to 742 foreigners with Swiss aircraft back, at the same time 725 Swiss flew foreign machines return. It is testimony to the great solidarity that prevails.

There may be cases, in which people in the country. This need to organize first, on his own responsibility. If there are problems, you can contact the competent Swiss representation, which can also help out financially.

We don’t distribute the money with the watering can. Let’s see who is really in need or who can get money from Switzerland to send. Within Europe, the maximum limit of 600 Swiss francs, in other countries there are 1200 francs. This may be spoken for medical aid to 2200 francs.

Yes, it is likely to be a few cases. We still have no exact Overview, because this is in the competence of the local representative.

Yes, these emergency loans must be paid back within 60 days. It is not clear that this is in the current Situation is always possible. We will clarify this directly with the person Concerned. We are no one.