Table of contents
What is the COVID certificate?
The COVID certificate provides documentary evidence that you have had a COVID-19 vaccination, have had and recovered from the disease or have tested negative. You can store the COVID certificate in paper form or in the COVID Certificate app.
For further information see the websites of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
Overview of certificate types
The following overview shows all certificates that are valid and can be used in Switzerland, including the conditions and period of validity. A COVID certificate that is valid in Switzerland does not, however, provide a guarantee for entry into other countries.
Vaccination in Switzerland
People vaccinated in Switzerland
Every vaccination carried out in the canton of Zurich is documented in the cantonal vaccination tool VacMe. The certificate is generated directly via the vaccination tool after the vaccination has been completed and can be downloaded from the user account.
Persons who do not have their own user account will receive the certificate by post, provided they have consented to the forwarding of the data and thus to the receipt of a certificate. If you wish to give this consent subsequently, you can do so via the cantonal vaccination hotline 0848 33 66 11.
EU Digital COVID Certificate is compatible
Have you already got an EU Digital COVID Certificate or a certificate which is compatible with the EU Digital COVID Certificate? If so, you don’t need to apply for a Swiss COVID certificate as these are also recognised in Switzerland. Furthermore, there are other countries whose certificates are recognised by Switzerland. These are listed under the following link:
Apply for Swiss COVID certificate
Vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine
People vaccinated abroad (regardless of their country of origin) with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) can apply for the Swiss COVID certificate via the national application platform. To do so, use the following online form. These vaccines are approved by the EMA:
- Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech)
- Spikevax (Moderna)
- Janssen (Janssen)
- Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca, incl. licensed products Covishield, Fiocruz and R-Covi)
- Nuvaxovid (Novavax, incl. licensed product Covovax)
You must also be able to provide sufficient evidence of the vaccination performed abroad and your stay in Switzerland, and be able to prove your identity.
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Request rejected or technical problems
Has your application been rejected or have you had technical difficulties? We will then be happy to see you at our stand in Zurich Main Station at Zurich Tourism. Beforehand, you can send your documents to email@example.com for examination and, if necessary, to arrange an appointment.
Persons with residence permit vaccinated with WHO emergency-approved vaccine
If you have received a vaccine that is on the WHO emergency use list and if you belong to one of the following groups of persons, you will receive a Swiss COVID certificate that is EU-compliant and meets the common validity period (currently 365 days in Switzerland).
You must have received one of the following vaccines:
- BBIBP-CorV (China Sinopharm Int. Corp.)
- CoronaVac (Sinovac Biotech)
- Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)
And you must belong to one of the following groups and be able to provide evidence of this:
- You are a Swiss national.
- You are a foreign national with a short-term residence permit, residence permit, permanent residence permit or cross-border commuter permit.
- You are deemed provisionally admitted.
- You are deemed in need of protection.
- You are an asylum seeker with a permit or confirmation.
- You hold a legitimation card under the Host State Ordinance.
- You hold a Ci permit.
You must submit the application to the issuing body in person so that your details can be checked on the spot.
AJDMT Medical Services AG, Witzbergstrasse 23, 8330 Pfäffikon ZH (Bus 830 from Uster train station and Pfäffikon train station, bus stops directly in front of the building)
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People who have recovered from COVID-19
Recovery in Switzerland
Confirmation with PCR test
People who have recovered from a COVID-19 disease in Switzerland with PCR test confirmation can apply for a COVID certificate using the following online form. The certificate will then be sent by post in paper form within 7 days. Some laboratories also issue the certificates directly and send them by e-mail.
A person is considered to have recovered from the 11th day after the positive PCR test. The certificate after a PCR test is currently valid for 270 days in Switzerland (and the EU).
Confirmation with rapid antigen test
As of 2 May 2022, certificates of recovery will again be issued for positive rapid tests. These certificates are valid for 180 days and are – as it is a replication of the EU regulation – in principle internationally recognised. However, individual countries can issue stricter regulations at any time.
There are various ways to obtain this certificate:
- Persons who test positive by means of a rapid test from 2 May 2022: the issuance is to take place directly on site by the testing body. Otherwise, in principle, a subsequent application is possible via the national application office, see link above. The prerequisite for this is that the testing centre reports the result to the FOPH.
- Persons who tested positive by means of a rapid test between 24 January and 16 February 2022 and who already had a recovery certificate that was only valid in Switzerland can apply for a new certificate from the Confederation via the «COVID Certificate App» by selecting the certificate directly via the national application office.
- Persons who have been tested positive by means of a rapid test in Switzerland after 1 October 2021 and who do not have the above-mentioned certificate can either contact the testing centre where the test was carried out or obtain the certificate via the national application centre as described above. The prerequisite mentioned under the first point also applies here.
People tested positive abroad (regardless of their country of origin) and having recovered now, can also apply for the Swiss COVID certificate via the Confederation's central platform. To do so, use the following online form. To this end, you need to present an official document confirming the lifting of your isolation period with the name and address of the official body and proof of the positive PCR test.
For more information on the application process, the required information and the costs, please click here:
People who have tested negative
Negative PCR test
The COVID certificate will be delivered directly to your COVID Certificate app on application. Already when the sample is taken you must say that you want a COVID certificate.
Negative rapid antigen test
You can request the COVID certificate from the test centre directly. This can either be done on the spot at the centre, or you will receive your certificate digitally by email or direct to your COVID Certificate app.
Only rapid antigen tests with a nasopharyngeal swab are now approved. Since the quality of samples from nasal swabs is insufficient, such tests no longer lead to a certificate. This will increase the reliability of the result and reduce the risk of infected persons receiving a certificate due to a false negative test result.
No certificate for self-tests
COVID certificates are not issued for self-tests.
Certificates for repetitive testing
In the canton of Zurich, it is possible to issue certificates for negative test results in the context of repetitive testing since 10 January 2022. These have a validity of 72 hours and will only be issued at request of those tested. The pool managers are responsible for this. The issuing is done via the Together We Test platform.
Period of validity
The validity period varies according to whether your COVID certificate documents a vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test. The validity may be adjusted on the basis of new scientific data.
Important: The following information is valid in Switzerland. Other countries may specify different periods of validity.
For people who have been vaccinated
270 days from when the last vaccine dose was administered.
The following exemption applies to people who received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine: The certificate is only valid from the 22nd day after the vaccine dose is administered.
For people who have recovered from COVID
Tested positive with a PCR test or a rapid antigen test
The certificate is valid from the 11th day after the positive test result and lasts for 180 days from the date of the test result.
The COVID certificate on the basis of an antibody test is no longer issued.
For people who have been tested negative
PCR test: 72 hours from when the sample was taken.
Rapid antigen test: 24 hours from when the sample was taken.
Use of the COVID certificate
The nationwide restrictions on access by certificate to facilities and establishments such as cinemas, theatres and indoor areas of restaurants as well as at events have been lifted since 17 February 2022.
Restricted cantonal certification obligation
Visitors to hospitals, to old people's and nursing homes who have reached the age of 16, as well as persons accompanying patients or nursing home residents, must still have a valid certificate in the canton of Zurich.
Employees of hospitals, homes and Spitex institutions must have a valid certificate or be regularly tested for COVID-19 infection.
Use for travel
The COVID certificate is still important for international travel. Many countries, particularly in the Schengen area, are likely to continue to require a COVID certificate for entry in the future. It’s also possible that in certain countries a certificate will also be needed to go to restaurants or museums. For this reason COVID certificates will continue to be issued in Switzerland.
No certificate is required for entry to Switzerland.