What is the COVID certificate?
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. With the return to a normal situation, the authority to order potential measures is once again held by the cantons.
This means it’s to your advantage to keep your COVID certificates somewhere safe. You can do this digitally in the COVID Certificate app, as a PDF or in paper form. Please note that if you uninstall the COVID Certificate app, all the COVID certificates it contains will be lost. The same applies if you change or lose your smartphone.
- Vaccinated, recovered or tested negative – who the COVID certificate is for
- Content of the COVID certificate
- COVID certificate in the COVID Certificate app
- The QR code and what it means
- Checking COVID certificates with the COVID Certificate Check App
- What is a ‘certificate light’ and how do I generate one?
Vaccinated, recovered or tested negative – who the COVID certificate is for
The COVID certificate serves as proof for people 16 and over who
- have been vaccinated against COVID-19,
- have already had the disease and recovered (the decisive factor is an infection confirmed with a PCR test or a rapid antigen test),
- have a negative PCR or rapid antigen test. The rapid antigen tests must be conducted by, or under the supervision of, trained professionals at test centres, medical facilities or pharmacies that are authorised by the cantonal authority to issue COVID certificates.
The COVID certificate is voluntary and free of charge. Switzerland’s COVID certificate is interoperable with the EU digital COVID Certificate.
You can get a COVID certificate electronically as a PDF or in paper form at various locations. The COVID certificate contains a forgery-proof QR code. Alternatively, you can scan the QR code and load it to the COVID Certificate app.
The COVID certificate is personalised and is valid for a limited period, which varies by certificate type. When your COVID certificate is checked, you may be asked to present photo identification (e.g. an identity card). Your personal details on the COVID certificate should match those in your passport or on your ID card. This will ensure that you do not experience possible difficulties when your certificate is being checked against your identification document.
Children and adolescents aged under 16 do not currently require a COVID certificate. However, Swiss COVID certificates can be issued for children on request if they:
- have recovered from COVID-19.
- have tested negative.
Contents of the COVID certificate
The COVID certificate contains various personal information, including your last name, first name, date of birth and a certificate number. It also features the necessary information on the COVID-19 vaccination received (number of doses, details of the vaccine administered and vaccination date), on recovery or on the negative PCR or rapid antigen test.
COVID certificate in the dedicated app
Even though the certificate requirement in Switzerland has been lifted it’s recommended to keep your COVID certificates and the COVID Certificate app. For travel outside Switzerland, depending on the measures in place in the country in question, COVID certificates may still be required.
As an alternative to the PDF or paper document, the COVID certificate can also be uploaded to an app so that it can be retrieved at any time and you don’t need to carry a paper document with you. This is the quickest and easiest way to keep the COVID certificate with you. To do so, download the COVID Certificate app free from the App Store or Google Play, scan the QR code on your certificate with your camera and save it on your mobile device. Once it is downloaded, the app also works without an internet connection.
The app can be downloaded from the App Store, the Google Play Store and the Huawei App Gallery.
You can store multiple COVID certificates in the app, for example several negative test results or the certificates of family members.
Check that the personal details on the COVID certificate match those on your passport or ID card.
If you notice an error in the name or date of birth, please contact the body that originally issued the certificate, or the relevant cantonal authority.
You should also promptly check whether you have received the certificate. If delivery to the dedicated app did not work for technical reasons, you can request a new certificate from the issuing body.
You can find out how to generate a PDF from the COVID Certificate app in the following FAQ: I only have my COVID certificate electronically in the COVID Certificate app. How can I get the COVID certificate as a PDF or on paper?
For technical assistance and questions about the COVID Certificate app, you can contact the technical helpline:
+41 58 466 07 99
The QR code and what it means
The key element of the COVID certificate is the square, electronically readable QR code, which is made up of a number of dots. It contains all the personal details mentioned above, can be scanned like a barcode, and the necessary information can therefore be retrieved immediately. Thanks to the integrated electronic signature of the Swiss Confederation, the QR code is forgery-proof and its validity can be guaranteed.
Please note: The QR code used for your COVID certificate has limited technical validity. For the first COVID certificates issued up to 12 July 2021 in Switzerland, the QR code was limited to 365 days. This means the QR code has to be renewed after a certain period of time to enable the certificate to still be checked (for example abroad).
You can find out why you should renew the QR code and how to do this in the FAQ.
Do you only have your COVID certificate in paper form? Download the COVID Certificate app from the app store. With the COVID Certificate app you can scan the QR code from your COVID certificate with the camera to transfer it to your mobile device. If your QR code has expired for technical reasons you can renew it directly in the app.
Checking COVID certificates with the COVID Certificate Check App
The certificate requirement within Switzerland was lifted on 17 February 2022. With the return to a normal situation, the authority to order potential measures is once again held by the cantons. If you still have to check COVID certificates, please refer to the following information.
To enable the authenticity and validity of COVID certificates to be checked, the COVID Certificate Check App has been made available. The latest version of the COVID Certificate Check app allows COVID certificates to be verified according to the following verification modes: 3G, 2G, 2G+ and test certificate. The verifier can select the verification mode directly in the app in order to verify COVID certificates according to the regulations applicable at the location.
The currently valid measures decided by the Federal Council can be found at: Measures and ordinances
Further information and the procedure for verifying a COVID certificate can be found here and in the fact sheet.
The following video shows step by step how the COVID Certificate Check App is used.
What is a ‘certificate light’ and how do I generate one?
The ‘certificate light’ is a function in the COVID Certificate app. If you activate certificate light, a new QR code is created that does not contain health data on the basis of the data in your normal COVID certificate. The certificate light can only be used in Switzerland. For data protection reasons the certificate light must be activated again after 24 hours. You can deactivate the certificate light any time to return to the normal COVID certificate.
The certificate light cannot be verified in restricted access areas on 2G or 2G+.