A PCR test detects whether you have been infected with coronavirus. The test is performed by your doctor, or in hospitals or test centres using a nose and throat swab, a throat swab or a saliva sample. According to the latest research, all these tests are equally reliable. The sample is analysed in a licensed laboratory and the result is generally available after 24 to 48 hours.
- Nose and throat swab, throat swab or saliva sample
- Performed by specialist staff
- Result available after 24 to 48 hours.
What does a positive result mean?
- You have been infected with the coronavirus.
- Following your recovery, you are generally protected for six months against re-infection.
What do I need to do?
- Further information can be found on the page Isolation and quarantine.
- Vaccination is recommended for long-term protection.
- From four weeks after a confirmed coronavirus infection, a single vaccine dose is sufficient.
- If you are vaccinated before these four weeks have elapsed, two vaccine doses are required and the symptoms must have subsided.
- Further information can be found on the page Vaccination.
I have been fully vaccinated. Do I have to go into quarantine?
- You don’t need to quarantine for 12 months from the time that you were fully vaccinated. You don’t need to automatically inform the authorities, but you do need a vaccination certificate. The cantonal authorities may request such a certificate as part of contact tracing.
- You can apply for a COVID certificate to confirm your recovery, provided your illness was no more than 180 days ago.
- If you have received enough vaccine doses, you can also apply for a certificate for your vaccination.
- Further information can be found on the page COVID certificate.
Assumption of costs
The federal government covers the costs of individual PCR tests in the following cases:
- You are getting tested because you have symptoms.
- You received a notification from the SwissCovid app.
- You were told to get tested by a cantonal authority or doctor.
- You need an individual PCR test to confirm the result of a positive rapid test, self-test or pooled test.
The federal government does not cover the costs of PCR tests in the following cases:
- You need a negative test result to travel. In this case, we recommend you find out in advance how much it will cost.