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 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 correspond with 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 as they will not have access to vaccination in time.
The COVID certificate was developed technically by the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication FOITT on behalf of the FOPH.
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
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 a multiple COVID certificates in the app, for example 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 is being made available to checking bodies such as immigration authorities, airports, clubs and organisers of major events. You can find out more here.
For technical assistance and questions about the COVID Certificate app, you can contact the technical helpline:
+41 58 466 07 99
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, on the basis of the data in your normal COVID certificate a new QR code is created that does not contain health data. The certificate light can only be used in Switzerland. For data protection reasons the certificate light must be activated again after 48 hours. You can deactivate the certificate light any time to return to the normal COVID certificate.
EU digital COVID Certificate
The EU has developed the “EU digital COVID Certificate”, a European framework for a digital certificate that it claims will facilitate safe, free movement of persons within EU/EFTA states in times of pandemic. Switzerland’s COVID certificate is 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.
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.