Vaccinated, recovered or tested negative – who the COVID certificate is for
The COVID certificate serves as proof for people 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),
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. It was technically developed by the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication FOITT on behalf of the FOPH. Switzerland’s COVID certificate will be compatible 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). Children and adolescents aged under 16 do not currently require a COVID certificate as they will not have access to vaccination in time.
Content 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.
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.
COVID certificate in the dedicated app
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.
You can download the app from the App Store or from Google Play Store.
You can store a variety of COVID certificates in the app, such as several negative test results, or the certificates of family members. You can also check in the app how long the COVID certificate is valid and when it expires in Switzerland.
To be able to verify the authenticity and validity of the COVID certificate, the “COVID Certificate Check” app has been developed for checking bodies, such as immigration authorities, airports, clubs or organisers of major events. You can find out more here.
Explanatory video on the COVID certificate
What is the COVID certificate and how does it work? Find out more in this explanatory video.
EU digital COVID certificate
The EU is also currently developing its own EU digital COVID certificate, which it claims will facilitate safe free movement of persons within the EU and Schengen area. Switzerland’s COVID certificate is compatible with the EU digital COVID certificate and is therefore valid throughout the EU and Schengen area. A COVID certificate issued in Switzerland can therefore also be checked by national systems in other European countries.
The individual countries are responsible for deciding exactly how the certificate will be used.