The COVID certificate is designed to facilitate travel in EU/EFTA states. A COVID certificate valid in Switzerland does not guarantee that you will be able to enter other countries. Each country decides its own entry requirements and has the authority to adjust them on an ongoing basis according to how the epidemiological situation develops.
This means that it is still possible for certain countries to have more stringent entry requirements than Switzerland. For this reason, each time you travel you should first inform yourself about the entry requirements on the official website of your destination.
From when will the COVID certificate be in use?
Since 1 July, only COVID certificates have been valid as proof in the relevant zones in Switzerland. Since 13 September, the certificate obligation has been extended.
A digital COVID certificate (the “EU digital COVID Certificate”) was also introduced by the EU and other EFTA states. Switzerland’s COVID certificate is interoperable with the EU’s; they are mutually recognised. The “EU digital COVID Certificate” is designed to facilitate safe travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been in use since 1 July 2021. States have a six-week transitional period to introduce the certificate. Individual states will decide how the certificate can be used. For this reason you should inform yourself about the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to.
Where will the COVID certificate be used in Switzerland?
Three different zones have been defined for the use of the COVID certificate in Switzerland:
Settings where it is compulsory to show the certificate (red zone).
Settings where the certificate can be used to be exempted from rules such as the mask-wearing requirement and capacity limits (orange zone).
Settings where the use of the certificate is not foreseen (green zone).
Below you will find more detailed information on the three zones.
Use of the certificate required temporarily (red zone)
In settings in the red zone the use of the COVID certificate is a temporary prerequisite for establishments to open – either because opening is dependent on the decision of other countries or because these settings are so sensitive from an epidemiological perspective that the COVID certificate is a condition for them to be able to open again or to stay open.
The following count as red zone settings:
International passenger transport (cross-border air, rail and ship travel)
Large-scale events (over 1,000 people)
Clubs, discos and dance events (with compulsory collection of contact data)
Indoor areas of (hotel) bars and restaurants
Leisure, sport and entertainment establishments such as theatres, cinemas, casinos, swimming pools, etc.
Private events such as weddings held indoors at publicly accessible institutions and establishments
Sports and cultural club activities with more than 30 people
Use of the certificate possible (orange zone)
In settings in the orange zone the COVID certificate may be used depending on the epidemiological situation.
This can include:
Public events with an audience or spectators (up to 1,000 people)
Trade and consumer fairs with more than 1,000 visitors
Health facilities such as hospitals as well as retirement and care homes (visitors only)
Events with fewer than 30 people where all attendees know one another, the group is constantly the same, and which are held in separate premises (e.g. sports training sessions or music rehearsals).
Use of the certificate not foreseen (green zone)
The use of the COVID certificate is not foreseen in everyday settings (green zone). However, here the general precautionary and hygiene measures continue to apply.
Public transport and airport transit zones
Religious events and political campaign events up to max. 30 people
Parliamentary meetings and municipal assemblies
Personal services such as hairdressing salons, therapeutic and advisory services, catering services in social support facilities (e.g. indoor soup kitchens)
Workplaces (including canteens)
Training and educational facilities (including canteens)
Travelling with the COVID certificate: entering other countries
A COVID certificate that is valid in Switzerland provides no guarantee of entry to other countries. Every country defines its own entry requirements and has the authority to adapt them on an ongoing basis according to how the epidemiological situation is evolving.
This means that it is still possible that some countries may have more stringent entry regulations than Switzerland. You should therefore as a matter of urgency always check the entry requirements on the destination country’s official website before you travel.
For travel to EU/EFTA countries the following website provides an initial overview of the measures in place in the individual EU countries: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/
In Europe, the “EU digital COVID Certificate” was also introduced by all EU and EFTA states. Switzerland’s COVID certificate is interoperable with the EU’s; they are mutually recognised.
The “EU digital COVID Certificate” is intended to facilitate travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be in use from 1 July 2021. From that point an initial six-week transitional period is envisaged. States have until the end of this period to introduce the certificate. Individual states will still decide how the certificate can be used. For this reason you should inform yourself about the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to.
Travelling with the COVID certificate: Entering Switzerland
When you enter Switzerland, different requirements apply depending on the country you are arriving from. They also depend on how you are entering Switzerland. At the moment people who have been vaccinated or who recovered from COVID can enter Switzerland without being subject to the test and quarantine requirement. Depending on how they are entering Switzerland, people who have neither had the vaccination nor have recovered from COVID must show proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test. If you are returning from a country with a variant of concern, you must additionally go into quarantine.
In Switzerland the basis has been laid for certificates from the EU/EFTA states area that are issued in accordance with the specifications of the “EU digital COVID Certificate” to also be recognised. Switzerland’s COVID certificate is interoperable with the EU’s; they are mutually recognised.