Last updated on 18.06.2021

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

Who can issue the COVID certificate?

The COVID certificate is being gradually rolled out between now and the end of June 2021 and will likely be issued by the following locations:

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

The cantons are currently working out the regulations on which locations will be able to issue COVID certificates using the simplest possible system. Responsibility for this decision always lies with the cantons. 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. Not all cantons already have their own information page or office for the COVD certificate and in some cases, these are still under development.

Appenzell Ausserrhoden
+41 71 353 62 32

Appenzell Innerrhoden

+41 800 463 666

+41 81 254 16 00

Neuenburg / Neuchâtel

+41 41 666 67 99

+41 58 229 22 33


+41 52 632 66 36

+41 58 345 34 40

+41 41 874 34 33

+41 58 433 01 01

+41 58 715 11 00

+41 41 531 48 90

List continuously updated.

How do I get 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:

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

People who are already fully vaccinated

(last vaccination was performed before the rollout of the COVID certificate)

Issue method:
The processes for issue are currently being worked out.

Validity in Switzerland (currently applicable):
180 days from when last dose was administered

Fully vaccinated people

(from end of June)

Issue method:
Depending on the canton you will receive your COVID certificate digitally as a PDF or on paper on the spot.

Validity in Switzerland (currently applicable):
180 days from when last dose was administered

Recovered people

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

Issue method:
Certificate can be requested from your canton of residence using a web form. 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 test result and lasts for 180 days from the date of the test result.

People who have tested negative

Issue method:
If you get a negative PCR test, the COVID certificate will be activated directly in the dedicated “COVID Certificate” app from the end of June.
If you get a negative rapid antigen test, the COVID certificate will be issued by the testing facility that performed the test.
COVID certificates are not issued for self-tests.

Validity in Switzerland:
PCR test: 72 hours from when the sample was taken
Rapid antigen test: 24 hours from when the sample was taken

Note on the COVID certificate for people who have recovered:

  • A COVID certificate for people who have recovered can be issued if the COVID infection was confirmed by a PCR test and the cantonal authority has lifted the isolation period.
  • 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 PCR test, have the option of getting vaccinated or getting a coronavirus test to get a COVID certificate.

Who can check the COVID certificate and how does this check work?

COVID certificates can be checked using the verifier app called “COVID Certificate Check”. However, this is only necessary for individuals and institutions that check COVID certificates.

When the certificate is checked, holders may 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.