Last updated on 21.09.2021

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

Who is entitled to issue the COVID certificate?

COVID certificates have been issued since 7 June 2021. 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 81 254 16 00

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:

Important: The following information is valid in Switzerland. Other countries may specify different periods of validity.

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

People who are already fully vaccinated

(last vaccination was performed before the end of June in Switzerland)

Issue method:
The processes for issue are vary from canton to canton. Please visit your canton’s website for information.

Validity in Switzerland (currently applicable):
365 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.

Fully vaccinated people

(from end of June in Switzerland)

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

Validity in Switzerland (currently applicable):
365 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

(received a positive result from a PCR test and now fully recovered)

Issue method:
Certificate can be requested from the form on the website of your canton of residence. It is sent by post in paper form within around 7 days.

Validity in Switzerland (currently applicable):
The certificate is valid from the 11th day after the positive PCR test result and remains valid for 180 days after the test result

Did you test positive abroad? If so, you can also apply for a Swiss COVID certificate. The proof of the positive PCR test must contain at least the following information:

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

You can apply for the COVID certificate from the canton where you are resident or temporarily residing. You can find information on the cantonal websites.

If you are not resident in the canton in question, the cantonal authority may charge a fee to cover the costs of issuing a COVID certificate. You can find information on the cantonal websites.

People who have tested negative

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. Already when the sample is taken you must say that you want a COVID certificate.
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.

Validity in Switzerland:
PCR test: 72 hours from when the sample was taken
Rapid antigen test: 48 hours from when the sample was taken

Note on the COVID certificate for people who have recovered from COVID:

  • A COVID certificate for people who have recovered can be issued if the COVID-19 infection was confirmed by a positive PCR test occurred no more than 180 days ago.
  • If the case was only confirmed by a rapid antigen test, no COVID certificate can be issued based on EU regulations.
  • An antibody test (serology test) does not give any indication of when someone had the disease and is therefore not considered evidence for a COVID certificate proving recovered status.
  • People who have had COVID-19 but do not have proof in the form of a positive PCR test have the option of getting vaccinated or getting a coronavirus test to obtain a COVID certificate.

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

Have you already got an EU Digital COVID Certificate or a certificate this is compatible with the EU Digital COVID Certificate? If so, you don’t need to apply for a Swiss COVID certificate as these are also recognised in Switzerland.

If you don’t have a corresponding certificate, you can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate provided that you were vaccinated abroad with a vaccine that is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This concerns the following vaccines:

  • Comirnaty® / BNT162b2 / Tozinameran (Pfizer/BioNTech)
  • Spikevax® / mRNA-1273 / COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna)
  • Vaxzevria® / AZD1222 / Covishield™ (AstraZeneca)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

You must be resident in Switzerland, staying in Switzerland, or intend to enter Switzerland. You must also be able to provide sufficient evidence of the vaccination performed abroad and your stay in Switzerland, and be able to prove your identity.

You can also apply for a Swiss COVID certificate if you were vaccinated abroad with a vaccine that is on the WHO Emergency Use List but not authorised by Swissmedic or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This concerns the following vaccines:

  • SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (Vero Cell) (Sinopharm/BIBP)
  • CoronaVac (Sinovac)

A Swiss COVID certificate is only issued under the following conditions:

  • You must submit the application in person so that your details can be checked on the spot.
  • You must belong to a certain group. You’ll find the list in the COVID-19 Certificates Ordinance.
  • COVID certificates cannot currently be issued for vaccination with Sputnik V.

What do I need to apply for a COVID certificate?

1. For your application, you require at least the following information:

  • Information on your nationality or on your residency status in Switzerland (e.g. copy of passport)
  • Information on your country of origin
  • Confirmation of vaccination (e.g. vaccination certificate with details of the vaccines, date of last vaccination, number of doses received, existing certificate if applicable)
  • Reason for your stay in Switzerland, how long you are staying and where
  • Proof of address or residence or proof of arrival in Switzerland (e.g. plane ticket, train ticket, or accommodation booking)

2. The necessary documents must be in Latin script and must be submitted in German, French, Italian or English.

3. Download the COVID Certificate app free from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Huawei App Gallery. Your COVID certificate can also be directly delivered to the app.

Where can I apply for the COVID certificate?

To be issued with a COVID certificate, you should contact the cantonal authority in the canton where you are resident or temporarily residing. There is at least one competent body in every canton.
You can find information on the cantonal websites.

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

If you were vaccinated abroad and are not resident in the canton in question, the cantonal authorities may charge a fee to cover costs. You should ask the responsible cantonal authority about this.

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

COVID certificates can be checked using the verifier app called the COVID Certificate Check. However, 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.