COVID-19 in Switzerland: Vaccination, certificates and current measures
The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad provides the following important information and further links on the Covid-19 vaccination for the Swiss Abroad.
Current measures and access to COVID certificates in Switzerland
In Switzerland, you need a COVID certificate to enter many public facilities.
- Stricter measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus will apply throughout Switzerland from Monday, 20 December. Only people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 will be able to go inside restaurants, cultural, sporting and leisure venues and attend indoor events (2G).
- Do you have a valid EU Digital COVID certificate? This document is valid in Switzerland.
- Have you been convalescing or vaccinated abroad and you do not have an EU Digital COVID certificate? Then you can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate. You can find all the information here: https://www.covidcertificate-form.admin.ch/foreign.
- Have you been convalescing? From 16 November 2021, the "Swiss COVID Certificate", valid only in Switzerland, will simplify access for convalescents.
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.
"Swiss COVID Certificate" valid only in Switzerland
At its meeting on 3 November 2021, the Federal Council decided to introduce a "Swiss COVID certificate" from 16 November 2021. In Switzerland, this will allow the period of validity of the COVID certificate for recovered persons to be extended from 6 to 12 months.
Also from 16 November 2021, persons with a current positive antibody test (serological test) can obtain a certificate valid in Switzerland for 90 days. The tests are at a charge and must comply with WHO standards, have CE certification and be carried out by a laboratory certified by Swissmedic. After the 90 days have expired, another test can be carried out.
Tourists who have been vaccinated with a vaccine approved only by the WHO (currently Sinovac and Sinopharm) can also obtain a "Swiss COVID Certificate" from the end of November 2021. Its validity is limited to Switzerland and for 30 days.
In addition, persons who cannot be vaccinated or tested for medical reasons can apply for a "Swiss COVID Certificate" from mid-December 2021, which will then be valid for 365 days in Switzerland.
The adaptations are limited to Switzerland and the return journey to Switzerland.
Access to the Swiss COVID certificate
From 19 October 2021 travellers to Switzerland can obtain a Swiss COVID certificate via a centralised electronic platform (no longer via the cantonal websites). The required information and documents can be uploaded to the platform and digitally transmitted. The processing time of an application can take up to 5 working days - keep this in mind when planning. Registering for the certificate may incur a charge of CHF 30. From 25 October 2021, only the Swiss COVID certificate and the EU-compatible COVID certificates will be permitted in those Swiss establishments where a certificate is mandatory (restaurants, bars, museums, theatres, etc.).
- 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.
- 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. For Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, a certificate valid only in Switzerland and for 30 days can be applied from the end of November 2021.
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.