Last updated on 22.08.2022

How do I obtain a COVID certificate and how do I use it?

The certificate requirement within Switzerland was lifted on 17 February 2022. For travel outside Switzerland, depending on the measures in place in the country in question, COVID certificates may still be required. For this reason, certificates are still being issued. COVID certificates that have already been issued retain their period of validity. In addition to this, the cantons also have the authority to order measures (such as a certificate requirement) within their canton to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

Who is entitled to issue the COVID certificate?

The issue of COVID certificates is possible in all cantons. You will find details on the cantonal websites.

The COVID certificate is issued at the following places:

  • Medical practices
  • Vaccination centres
  • Test centres
  • Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Pharmacies
  • Cantonal authorities

Depending on the canton, the COVID certificate will be issued to you at your request on an automated basis in digital form or on the spot directly after the vaccination or rapid antigen test.
You should therefore consult the following list of cantons to find out how you can get a COVID certificate where you live.

Overview of cantonal websites on the COVID certificate

You’ll find further information on how to get your COVID certificate on your canton’s website.

Aargau

ag.ch
+41 62 835 51 10

Appenzell Ausserrhoden

ar.ch
+41 71 353 62 32

Appenzell Innerrhoden

ai.ch
+41 71 788 99 66

Basel-Stadt

bs.ch
+41 800 463 666

Freiburg

fr.ch
+41 840 261 700

Genf / Genève

ge.ch
+41 800 909 400

Glarus

gl.ch
+41 55 645 67 00

Graubünden

gr.ch
+41 81 257 44 44

Luzern

lu.ch
+41 41 228 64 46

Neuenburg / Neuchâtel

ne.ch
+41 32 889 24 24

Nidwalden

nw.ch
+41 41 618 43 34

Obwalden

ow.ch
+41 41 666 67 99

St.Gallen

sg.ch
+41 58 229 22 33

Schaffhausen

sh.ch
+41 52 632 66 36

Schwyz

sz.ch
+41 41 819 15 00

Solothurn

so.ch
+41 32 627 74 11

Thurgau

tg.ch
+41 58 345 34 40

Tessin

ti.ch
+41 800 128 128

Uri

ur.ch
+41 41 874 34 33

Wallis

vs.ch
+41 58 433 01 01

Waadt

vd.ch
+41 58 715 11 00

Zug

zg.ch
+41 41 531 48 90

Zürich

zh.ch
+41 848 33 66 11

List continuously updated.

How do I obtain a COVID certificate and how long is it valid?

The COVID certificate is issued in different ways depending on the use case. The validity also varies and may change on the basis of new scientific findings. Check this page regularly to find out about the current regulations:

The certificate requirement within Switzerland was lifted on 17 February 2022. COVID certificates that have already been issued retain their period of validity. Le regole di validità all’estero, in particolare per quanto riguarda il riconoscimento dei vaccini e dei test e la loro durata di validità, sono competenza dei singoli Stati e possono differire dalle raccomandazioni dell’UE. For travel to EU/EFTA countries the following website provides an initial overview of the measures in place in the individual EU countries: https://reopen.europa.eu/en.

Overview of use cases, issue methods and validity of the COVID certificate

Fully vaccinated people

Issue method:
Certificate can be issued digitally on an automated basis as a PDF or on request as a paper document at the place where the vaccination is administered.

Period of validity/usability in states that accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate* :
Max. 270 days from when last dose was administered

The following exemption applies to people who received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine:
The certificate is only valid from the 22nd day after the vaccine dose is administered.

People who have recovered from COVID

(COVID confirmed by a positive PCR test or rapid antigen test)

Issue method:
Depending on the canton, the COVID certificate may be issued to you directly from the laboratory where your positive PCR test result was ascertained.
If this is not the case, you can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate online using the National COVID certificate application platform. The application is entered in a secure environment and processed by the responsible cantonal authorities. The COVID certificate will then be sent to you either electronically via e-mail, in paper form by post or directly to your “COVID Certificate” app.

Period of validity/usability in states that accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate* :
The certificate is valid from the 11th day after the positive test result and remains valid for max. 180 days.

You cannot get a COVID certificate to certify recovery from COVID based on a positive antibody test or self-test. Do you already have a COVID certificate based on a positive antibody test? This certificate retains its previous period of validity. Please note, however, that this certificate is not accepted abroad.

People who have tested negative

If you would like a COVID certificate as evidence of a negative test, you will generally have to pay for the test yourself. Exemptions and other information can be found on the page Tests.

Issue method:
If you get a negative PCR test, on request the COVID certificate will be activated directly in the COVID Certificate app, provided the issuer offers this service. You must say that you want a COVID certificate when the sample is taken.
If you get a negative rapid antigen test, the COVID certificate will be issued on request by the test centre directly. This can either be done on the spot at the centre, or you will receive your certificate digitally by email or direct to your COVID Certificate app, provided the issuer offers this service. A COVID certificate can also be issued for a negative pooled PCR test. Ask your employer about the procedure for applying for and having a COVID certificate issued. If your employer cannot yet issue certificates, they can contact the canton. The issue of certificates on the basis of repeat testing is the canton’s responsibility.

If you get a negative rapid antigen test, the COVID certificate will be issued on request by the test centre directly. This can either be done on the spot at the centre, or you will receive your certificate digitally by email or direct to your COVID Certificate app, provided the issuer offers this service.
COVID certificates are not issued for self-tests.

Period of validity/usability in states that accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate* :
PCR test: 72 hours from when the sample was taken
Rapid antigen test: max. 48 hours from when the sample was taken

Important: To be able to get a COVID certificate following a negative rapid antigen test, the test must be performed with a nose and throat swab. Nose swabs only are not acceptable.

* The validity rules in foreign countries – particularly recognition of vaccines and tests and their period of validity – are determined by the individual states and may differ from the EU’s recommendations. Please note that some states do not issue or accept recovery certificates. Before you travel, find out about the applicable rules from the authorities in the country you are travelling to. Currently a uniform validity period of 270 days applies to certificates for vaccinated people for entry into EU/EFTA states. Other periods may apply for use of the certificate within the country and for its validity after a booster vaccination.

Have you tested positive with a rapid antigen test in Switzerland?

From 2 May 2022 you can apply for a recovery certificate after a positive rapid antigen test. You can also obtain a COVID certificate retroactively if your test was done after 1 October 2021. The newly issued COVID certificates are EU-compatible and thus also recognised outside Switzerland.

Have you received a positive rapid antigen test result since 2 May 2022?

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Your COVID certificate will be issued to you directly from the test centre where your positive rapid antigen test result was ascertained. You can have your COVID certificate sent direct to your COVID Certificate app, for example.

If not, you can request your COVID certificate online via the National COVID certificate application office. It will then be sent by post. This can take several days.

Need help with applying for your COVID certificate via the national COVID certificate application office? You can call the infoline on +41 58 463 00 00 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).

Did you receive a positive rapid antigen test result before 2 May 2022 but no COVID certificate yet?

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Contact the test centre where your positive rapid antigen test result was ascertained so that a COVID certificate can be issued. It can be sent, for example, direct to your COVID certificate app.

If the test centre cannot issue you with a COVID certificate you can apply for one via the national COVID certificate application office. It will then be sent by post. This can take several days.

Do you already have a COVID certificate on the basis of a positive rapid antigen test and have stored it in the COVID Certificate app?

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In the detailed view of your existing COVID recovery certificate you will find a note that you can apply for an EU-compatible version of it. Click on the note and follow the link taking you to the relevant application form on the national COVID certificate application office platform. The information on your COVID certificate can be transferred automatically. After that you will receive your new COVID certificate by post.. This can take several days. You must then upload the new COVID certificate again to the COVID Certificate app.

Do you already have a COVID certificate on the basis of a positive rapid antigen test and have kept it as a PDF (in paper or digital form)?

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Install the COVID Certificate app on your smartphone. Scan the QR code to make the COVID certificate available in the app. Then follow the instructions detailed in the section above entitled “Do you already have a COVID certificate on the basis of a positive rapid antigen test and have stored it in the COVID Certificate app?”

Alternatively you can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate online via the National COVID certificate application office . It will then be sent by post. This can take several days.

I’m unable to have the vaccination or a test for medical reasons. How do I obtain a COVID certificate and how long is it valid?

At present no certificates are issued if you are not able to get vaccinated or tested.
Have you already received a certificate of this sort? The certificate retains is period of validity. Please note, however, that the certificate is not accepted abroad.

How do I get the COVID certificate if I was vaccinated abroad?

Have you already got an EU Digital COVID Certificate or a certificate which is compatible with the EU Digital COVID Certificate? If so, you don’t need to apply for a Swiss COVID certificate.

If you don’t have a corresponding certificate, you can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate online via the National COVID certificate application platform provided that you were vaccinated abroad with one of the following vaccines:

  • Comirnaty® / BNT162b2 / Tozinameran (Pfizer/BioNTech)
  • Spikevax® / mRNA-1273 / COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna)
  • Vaxzevria® / AZD1222 / Covishield™ or other licensed products (AstraZeneca)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Nuvaxovid® / NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax)
  • VLA2001 (Valneva Austria GmbH)
  • SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell) (Sinopharm / BIBP)
  • CoronaVac (Sinovac)
  • COVAXIN®
  • Convidecia (CanSino Biologics)

Have you been vaccinated with Sputnik V vaccine? At present a COVID certificate cannot be issued for this or other vaccines not recognised by the WHO.

You have to be able to prove that you are a Swiss national, that you have your residence in Switzerland or that you have a residence permit. In other words, you have to belong to a specific group. You will find the list in the COVID-19 Certificates Ordinance. You must be able to provide evidence of the vaccine you received abroad.

Where can I apply for the COVID certificate?

If you were vaccinated with vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Novavax or Valneva Austria GmbH, you can apply for your COVID certificate online via the National COVID certificate application office. Your canton of residence will then take care of issuing the certificate.

It generally takes five days to process the application, although it can take somewhat longer in individual cases. For this reason we recommend applying for your certificate two weeks before entering Switzerland. The competent authorities can also email you to request additional information and documents from you if they have doubts about the authenticity of the documents submitted or if they have any queries. They can also reject applications if doubts cannot be cleared up.

If you were vaccinated with Sinopharm / BIBP, Sinovac, CanSino Biologics or COVAXIN® vaccine, you must submit your application personally to the issuer so that they can check the details directly. You’ll find information on the cantonal websites. Afterwards you will receive your COVID certificate either electronically by email or direct to your COVID Certificate app.

For your application you need at least the following:

  • Details of your citizenship or residence status in Switzerland (e.g. copy of passport/foreigner’s identity card)
  • Confirmation of vaccination (e.g. vaccination certificate with details of the bearer, vaccines administered, institution that carried out the vaccination, date of the last vaccination, number of vaccine doses received, existing certificate if applicable).
  • Reason, duration and place of your stay in Switzerland, or proof of address or residence.

The necessary documents must be submitted in German, French, Italian or English.

In addition, download the free COVID Certificate app from the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store or the Huawei AppGallery. Your COVID certificate can also be delivered directly to the app.

How do I obtain the Covid certificate if I am planning a trip to Switzerland (e.g. as a tourist)?

No COVID certificates are issued in Switzerland for tourists. You do not need a COVID certificate to enter Switzerland or within the country itself.

Do you have to pay to apply for a COVID certificate?

Application is free of charge.

How can I get a COVID certificate if I tested positive abroad with a PCR test?

You can apply online for a Swiss COVID certificate online via the National COVID certificate application office. You need to present an official document confirming the lifting of your isolation period with the name and address of the official body and proof of the positive PCR test. The proof of the positive PCR test must contain at least the following information:

  • First name, last name and date of birth
  • Date and time the sample was taken (must be within the last 180 days)
  • Test centre or institution where the test was performed
  • Type of test (only PCR tests are valid)

You also have to be able to prove that you are a Swiss national, that you have your residence in Switzerland or that you have a residence permit. In other words, you have to belong to a specific group. You will find the list in the COVID-19 Certificates Ordinance.

An application usually takes up to five days to process.

Who is entitled to check the COVID certificate and how does this check work?

The certificate requirement within Switzerland was lifted on 17 February 2022. The cantons have the authority to order measures (such as a certificate requirement) within their canton to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. If you still have to check COVID certificates, please refer to the following information.

COVID certificates can be checked using the verifier app called the COVID Certificate Check. This is only necessary for individuals and institutions that check COVID certificates.

When the certificate is checked, holders will be asked to present photo identification (e.g. an ID card) in order to comply with legal requirements. This is to ensure the name on the identity document matches the name on the COVID certificate. To check the COVID certificate, the QR code on the paper document, the PDF or in the “COVID Certificate” app is scanned to verify the certificate’s authenticity.

Can the COVID certificate be renewed?

Your COVID certificate will not be stored in any central systems. It is only held by you. Keep the COVID certificate safe and protect it from unauthorised access. We also recommend you make a copy of the certificate so that you can use the copy if you ever lose it. If you lose the certificate, you need to apply for a new one from the issuer.

The period of validity may be adjusted on the basis of new scientific findings. In this case the validity of your certificate will be adjusted automatically; no new certificate has to be issued.