Last updated on 13.04.2022

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. 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.

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

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),
  • 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 generally 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.

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

Even though the certificate requirement in Switzerland has been lifted it’s recommended to keep your COVID certificates and the COVID Certificate app. This is because COVID certificates will still be important, especially for travel abroad.

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.

«COVID Certificate»-App
App Store
Google Play Store
Huawei App Gallery

You can store multiple COVID certificates in the app, for example several negative test results or the certificates of family members. You can also see in the app how long the COVID certificate is valid in Switzerland and whether your certificate gives you access to areas subject to 3G, 2G or 2G+.

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?

New function for travel abroad in the COVID Certificate app

Under “Validity for travel” in the detailed view of your COVID certificate you can check whether your certificate will be valid at the moment you enter your destination country. Select the country and date you will be entering. Then you’ll see whether the COVID certificate will be valid in that country on your date of entry.

But note: Entry rules can change. So check the validity shortly before you depart, and go online to make sure of the latest entry rules for your destination country. Please note too that only the entry rules of the destination country are checked. Different rules might apply to places within the country where a certificate is required. Another point to remember is that not all countries can be selected for checking because not all countries accept COVID certificates, and entry rules may not have been made available in all cases.

For technical assistance and questions about the COVID Certificate app, you can contact the technical helpline:
+41 58 466 07 99

Checking COVID certificates with the COVID Certificate Check App

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.

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+.

EU digital COVID Certificate

The EU has developed the EU digital COVID Certificate, a European framework for a digital certificate that aims to facilitate safe, free movement of persons within EU/EFTA states during the pandemic. Switzerland’s COVID certificate is generally interoperable with the EU’s; they are mutually recognised. It will therefore be possible to also check a COVID certificate issued in Switzerland in the other EU/EFTA countries, in Andorra, Armenia, the Faroe Islands, Georgia, Monaco, New Zealand, Serbia, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

The individual countries are responsible for deciding exactly how the certificate will be used. For this reason, each time you travel you should first inform yourself about the entry requirements on the official website of the country you are travelling to.

New coding of your vaccination certificate

In certain cases, the coding of your certificate for a COVID vaccination does not indicate whether you have received a booster vaccination or not. With the advent of the new coding in line with EU requirements, from 1 February 2022 it will be possible to display your booster on COVID certificates.

Depending on your canton, you may have already received your certificate automatically by post. You will find more information on the cantonal websites.

Why is there a new coding? Who is it relevant for? Find out more here.