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COVID-19 Vaccination in Switzerland and access to certificates

11 January 2021, last update on 13 October 2021

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad provides the following important information and further links on the Covid-19 vaccination for the Swiss Abroad.

On 17 September 2021, the Federal Council adopted new rules for entry into Switzerland and for accessing the Swiss COVID certificate for people vaccinated abroad. The Swiss COVID certificate is now also accessible to people residing in Switzerland or entering the country who have been vaccinated abroad with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In addition, access to the certificate for returning Swiss Abroad will also be made possible for other WHO-approved vaccines.

Obtaining a Swiss COVID certificate is set to become easier: people arriving in Switzerland will be able to upload the required information and documents to a centralised electronic platform. The platform will be available at the earliest from 18 October 2021 and will enable travellers to register for the certificate, possibly for a fee.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad commented on this on 14 September 2021 and is delighted that concrete solutions for the concerns of the Swiss Abroad are now being implemented.  

The corona situation continues to change constantly. For this reason, the Federal Council is continuously monitoring developments and adapting its measures to the current situation.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad is in close exchange with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and is committed to addressing the concerns of the Swiss Abroad.

For certain Swiss Abroad, there is limited or no access to vaccinations in their country of residence. Particularly in countries with a weak or critical health situation and where the Swiss Abroad as non-citizens are categorically excluded, there is a need for a solution from Switzerland. Read more about this in the SwissCommunity Newsletter 4/21 in German or French

Access to the Swiss COVID certificate

From 18 October 2021 at the earliest, travellers to Switzerland can obtain a Swiss COVID certificate via a centralised electronic platform. The required information and documents can be uploaded to the platform and digitally transmitted. Registering for the certificate may incur a charge of CHF 30. Until the online platform is available, registration is via the cantonal websites.

  • Persons with an EU Digital COVID Certificate or a certificate compatible with the EU Digital COVID Certificate do not need to apply for a Swiss COVID certificate. These certificates are recognised in Switzerland.
  • Persons who have been vaccinated abroad with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate. From 18 October 2021 at the earliest, this can be done via an online platform. 
  • It is also possible to apply for a Swiss COVID certificate if a vaccine was administered abroad that is on the WHO Emergency Use List but not approved by Swissmedic or the EMA.

Find out more on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) in the section "I was vaccinated abroad. How can I get the COVID certificate?". 

 

Recognition of vaccines and certificates

In Switzerland, the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty®) and Moderna (Spikevax®) are available, as well as the vector-based vaccine from Janssen (COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen®). Since 20 September 2021, the Swiss COVID certificate is also issued to people residing in Switzerland or entering the country who have been vaccinated abroad with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other WHO approved vaccines. 

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad is pleased that their efforts to have vaccines and certificates for the Swiss Abroad recognised have led to concrete solutions.

Covid-19 vaccination in Switzerland for Swiss Abroad

The Swiss Abroad must comply with the vaccination requirements of their country of residence.

Swiss citizens abroad and their closest family members can be vaccinated in Switzerland even if they do not have Swiss health insurance. This also applies to cross-border commuters without compulsory health insurance. This was decided by the Federal Council at the end of August after the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad had informed President Guy Parmelin several times about the concerns and worries of many many Swiss Abroad.

What is the vaccination strategy of the Swiss Confederation?

The Federal Council, together with the cantons, wants to intensify vaccination efforts once again in order to be able to end the pandemic in Switzerland as soon as possible. Around 57% of the total population in Switzerland is fully vaccinated. This means that Switzerland has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe. For this reason, the federal government has decided to introduce the requirement to obtain a certificate when visiting restaurants, events, museums, bars, large events and other occasions. 

You can find out more about this on the webiste of the FOPH.

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