Coronavirus: where and how to get a COVID certificate and how long it is valid

You can get an overview of the different certificate types here. Find out under which conditions and where you can apply for a COVID certificate and how long it is valid for.

Overview of certificate types

The following table provides an overview of all certificate types. What COVID certificates are available? Under which conditions can I get which COVID certificate? How long is it valid?

The overview shows all certificates that are valid and can be used in Switzerland. A COVID certificate that is valid in Switzerland does not, however, provide a guarantee for entry into other countries. Information on travelling with the COVID certificate can be found on the page Travel abroad and global statistics.

Certificate Condition Period of validity in Switzerland
For a COVID-19 vaccination
You were vaccinated in Switzerland. 365 days from when the last vaccine dose was administered
(with the exception of the Janssen vaccine: period of validity commences on the 22nd day after the vaccine dose is administered) (from 31 January 2022 270 days)
For a COVID-19 vaccination You were vaccinated abroad with a vaccine that has been authorised by the EMA.
For a COVID-19 vaccination You were vaccinated abroad with a vaccine for which emergency authorisation has been issued by the WHO but which has not been authorised by Swissmedic or the EMA AND you are a Swiss citizen or have a residence permit in Switzerland.
For a COVID-19 vaccination You were vaccinated abroad with a vaccine for which emergency authorisation has been issued by the WHO but which has not been authorised by Swissmedic or the EMA AND you are only visiting Switzerland (e.g. as a tourist). 30 days from issue of certificate
For recovery
You tested positive in Switzerland or abroad with a PCR test.
365 days from the date of the test result (from 31 January 2022 270 days)
For recovery You tested positive in Switzerland with a rapid antigen test. 270 days from the date of the test result
For recovery You tested positive in Switzerland with an antibody test. 90 days from the date on which the sample was taken
For a negative test result
You tested negative in Switzerland with a PCR test.
72 hours from the date on which the sample was taken
For a negative test result You tested negative in Switzerland with a rapid antigen test. 24 hours from the date on which the sample was taken
Certificate
Condition
Period of validity in Switzerland
Exemption certificate
You cannot be either vaccinated or tested for medical reasons.
365 days from date doctor's note (medical certificate) issued  

No COVID certificate for a negative test result will be issued for a negative self-test or for tests performed abroad.  

Where can I get a COVID certificate?

The cantons are responsible for the issuing of COVID certificates. You will find details on the cantonal websites.

The COVID certificate is issued at the following locations:

  • Vaccination centres
  • Medical practices
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmacies
  • Test centres
  • Laboratories
  • Cantonal authorities

Certificates can be delivered on the spot, online (on the internet), direct to the COVID Certificate app or in special cases by post.

Check that the personal details on the COVID certificate match those on your passport or ID card. If you notice an error in the name or date of birth, please contact the body that originally issued the certificate. If this body cannot help, contact the canton responsible. The FOPH does not issue certificates, and it cannot amend certificates with incorrect information.

You should also promptly check whether you have received the certificate. If delivery to the dedicated app did not work for technical reasons, you can request a new certificate from the issuing body.

I was vaccinated in Switzerland. How can I get a COVID certificate and how long is it valid?

Once you are fully vaccinated (initial immunisation) or have had a booster, you can request a COVID certificate. Please note that you must enter your personal details as they appear on your ID card or passport. This will avoid any difficulties when your certificate is checked against your identification document.

Were you fully vaccinated before the end of June 2021?

You will find information on how to request a COVID certificate on the website of the canton where the last dose of vaccine was administered.

Were you fully vaccinated after the end of June 2021?

Depending on the canton you will receive your COVID certificate digitally as a PDF or on paper on the spot in paper form.

How long is the COVID certificate valid?

  • 365 days from when the last vaccine dose was administered (from 31 January 2022 270 days)

The following exception 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.

You will receive a new certificate for the booster vaccination. The certificate is valid for 365 days (from 31 January 2022 270 days) from the date of the booster.

The period of validity may be adjusted at any time on the basis of new scientific findings.

Important: The information provided is relevant for the use of the certificate in Switzerland. Other countries may define different periods of validity.

I was vaccinated abroad. How can I get a COVID certificate and how long is it valid?

Have you already got an EU Digital COVID Certificate or a certificate that 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. Further information can be found on the page Travel abroad and global statistics.

Did you receive a vaccine that is approved by the European Medicines Agency?  

You can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate if you received one of the following vaccines:

  • Comirnaty® / BNT162b2 / Tozinameran (Pfizer/BioNTech)
  • Spikevax® / mRNA-1273 / COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna)
  • Vaxzevria® / AZD1222 / Covishield™ or other licensed products (AstraZeneca)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Nuvaxovid® / NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax)

You also have to be able to prove that you live in Switzerland, are a Swiss abroad or that you plan to travel to Switzerland (e.g. as a tourist). To find out which documents you need to present, see the section ‘Required information’.

Do you need help applying for your COVID certificate via the National COVID certificate application platform? If so, you can call the following Infoline +41 58 469 79 63 (daily from 7am to 8pm).

An application usually takes up to five days to process, but this can take slightly longer in individual cases. We therefore recommend that you submit your application in good time before your trip to Switzerland. You should also check your e-mail inbox at regular intervals and also look in your spam folder. The relevant agencies may ask you to provide further information and documentation if they have doubts about the authenticity of the submitted documents or have any queries. Please always provide your support code should you have any queries. The relevant agencies can also reject applications if the doubts cannot be resolved. You will not be entitled to any refund of your fee.

Required information

For your application, you require at least the following information:

  • Information on your nationality or on your residency status in Switzerland (e.g. copy of passport/residence permit)
  • Confirmation of vaccination (e.g. vaccination certificate with details of the holder, administered vaccines, the institution that performed the vaccination, date of last vaccination, number of doses received, existing certificate if applicable)
  • Reason for your stay in Switzerland, how long you are staying and where
  • Are you only visiting Switzerland? If so, you require proof of arrival in Switzerland (e.g. plane ticket, train ticket, or accommodation booking)

The necessary documents must be submitted in German, French, Italian or English.

You can also download the COVID Certificate app free of charge from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Huawei App Gallery. Your COVID certificate can also be delivered directly to the app.  

Find out in the video how you can have your COVID certificate delivered directly to the “COVID Certificate” app.

Costs

If you are not resident in Switzerland, you will be charged CHF 30 for your application to be processed. This sum should be paid by credit card or with PayPal during the application process.  

Was your application rejected or would you like to submit a new application? If so, the processing fee may be incurred again.  

How long is the COVID certificate valid?

  • 365 days from when the last vaccine dose was administered (from 31 January 2022 270 days)

The following exception 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.

The period of validity may be adjusted at any time on the basis of new scientific findings.

Important: The information provided is relevant for the use of the certificate in Switzerland. Other countries may define different periods of validity.

Did you receive a vaccine that is on the WHO emergency use list but is not authorised by Swissmedic or the European Medicines Agency (EMA)?

You can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate if you received one of the following vaccines:

  • SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (Vero Cell) (Sinopharm/BIBP)
  • CoronaVac (Sinovac)
  • COVAXIN®

Did you receive the Sputnik V vaccine? COVID certificates cannot currently be issued for this and other vaccines not recognised by the WHO.

Application

Are you planning a trip to Switzerland (e.g. as a tourist)?

You can apply for the COVID certificate online using the National COVID certificate application platform. The canton where you are resident or staying will issue the certificate.

Do you belong to one of the following groups?
  • 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

If so, you must submit the application to the issuing body in person so that your details can be checked on the spot. You will find information on the cantonal websites.

Required information

For your application, you require at least the following information:

  • Information on your nationality or on your residency status in Switzerland (e.g. copy of passport/residence permit)
  • Confirmation of vaccination (e.g. vaccination certificate with details of the holder, administered vaccines, the institution that performed the vaccination, date of last vaccination, number of doses received, existing certificate if applicable)
  • Reason for your stay in Switzerland, how long you are staying and where; or Proof of address or residence
  • Are you only visiting Switzerland? If so, you will need evidence of your journey to Switzerland (e.g. plane ticket, train ticket or accommodation booking).

The necessary documents must be submitted in German, French, Italian or English.

You can also download the COVID Certificate app free of charge from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Huawei App Gallery. Your COVID certificate can also be delivered directly to the app.  

Find out in the video how you can have your COVID certificate delivered directly to the “COVID Certificate” app.

Costs

Are you resident in Switzerland? If you apply for the certificate in the canton where you live you will not incur any costs.

Are you not resident in Switzerland? You will be charged CHF 30 for your application to be processed. This sum should be paid by credit card or with PayPal during the application process.

How long is the COVID certificate valid?

If you apply for a Swiss COVID certificate as a tourist, it is valid for 30 days from issue in Switzerland only.

For Swiss nationals and those with a residence permit in Switzerland, it is valid as follows:

  • 365 days from when the last vaccine dose was administered (from 31 January 2022 270 days)

The following exception 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.

The period of validity may be adjusted at any time on the basis of new scientific findings.

Important: The information provided is relevant for the use of the certificate in Switzerland. Other countries may define different periods of validity.

I’ve recovered from COVID-19. How can I get a COVID certificate and how long is it valid?

You can get a COVID certificate in the following cases:

  • The COVID infection was confirmed with a positive PCR test and was no more than 365 days (from 31 January 2022 270 days) ago.
  • You can present a positive antibody test.
  • From 24 January 2022: COVID disease was confirmed with a positive rapid antigen test.

You cannot get a COVID certificate to certify recovery from COVID based on a positive self-test.

Did you test positive in Switzerland with a PCR test?

Depending on the canton, the COVID certificate may be sent to you directly from the laboratory where your positive PCR test result was ascertained. In most cases you will receive your COVID certificate electronically by email.

If this is not the case, you can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate online using the National COVID certificate application platform. The application is entered in a secure environment and processed by the responsible cantonal authorities. The COVID certificate will then be sent to you either electronically via e-mail, in paper form by post or directly to your “COVID Certificate” app.

Do you need help applying for your COVID certificate via the National COVID certificate application platform? If so, you can call the following Infoline +41 58 469 79 63 (daily from 7am to 8pm).

Did you test positive abroad with a PCR test?

Then you can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate online via the National COVID certificate application platform. There your application will be entered in a secure environment and processed by the responsible cantonal authorities. It will be sent either electronically by email, in paper form or direct to your COVID Certificate app.

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. The proof of the positive PCR test must contain at least the following information:

  • First name, last name and date of birth
  • Date and time the sample was taken (must be within the last 365 days)
  • Test centre or institution where the test was performed
  • Type of test (only PCR tests are valid)

If you are not resident in Switzerland, you will be charged CHF 30 for your application to be processed.

An application usually takes up to five days to process, but this can take slightly longer in individual cases. We therefore recommend that you submit your application in good time before your trip to Switzerland.

Information on entering Switzerland: Even if you have a Swiss COVID certificate, it is possible that you are not allowed to enter Switzerland. You will find information on this on the page Entering Switzerland and the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

How long is the COVID certificate valid?

The certificate is valid from the 11th day after the positive PCR test result and lasts for 365 days ‒ from 31 January 2022 270 days ‒ from the date of the test result (in other words, the certificate is actually valid for 354 days in total (from 31 January 2022 259 days)).

Note: Even if you are able to come out of isolation on day 5, your COVID certificate is not valid until day 11 after the positive PCR test result.

The period of validity may be adjusted at any time on the basis of new scientific findings.

Important: The information provided is relevant for the use of the certificate in Switzerland. Other countries may define different periods of validity.

Have you had an antibody test in Switzerland?

You can get a COVID certificate for a positive antibody test. This will be sent to you directly from the laboratory either via e-mail or by means of a transfer code to your “COVID certificate” app.

The antibody test is subject to a fee and must be paid for by the person being tested. The test must be carried out by a certified laboratory. Antibody tests performed before 16 November 2021 do not qualify for the issuance of a COVID certificate.  

Please note: The COVID certificate for an antibody test is only valid in Switzerland.  

How long is the COVID certificate valid?

90 days from the date on which the sample was taken.

Have you tested positive with a rapid antigen test in Switzerland?

From 24 January 2022 you can apply for a recovery certificate after a positive rapid antigen test. This is only a temporary solution in response to the limited availability of PCR tests due to the high number of cases. The result of a positive rapid antigen test has been shown to be very reliable in the current epidemiological situation. “False positives” are very unlikely.

The COVID certificate will be sent to you directly from the test centre by email or by transfer code to your COVID Certificate app. Find out in the video how to have your COVID certificate sent direct to the COVID Certificate app.  

How long is the COVID certificate valid?

Validity starts from the 11th day after the positive test result and lasts for 270 days from the date of the test result (i.e. the actual duration of validity is 259 days).

The COVID certificate on the basis of a positive rapid antigen test is only valid in Switzerland.

Please note: Even if you are able to come out of isolation on day 5, your COVID certificate is not valid until day 11 after the positive rapid antigen test result.

I’ve tested negative for COVID-19. How can I get a COVID certificate and how long is it valid?

You can obtain a COVID certificate as evidence of a negative PCR test or negative rapid antigen test. A COVID certificate can also be issued for a negative pooled PCR test.

To be able to obtain a COVID certificate for a negative rapid antigen test, the test must have been performed with a nose and throat swab. Those performed with a nose swab alone are not permitted.

COVID certificates are not issued for negative self-tests. Nor will a COVID certificate be issued if the test was performed abroad.

Application

You can request the COVID certificate directly from the test centre or the laboratory responsible. 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, provided the issuer offers this service. Find out in the video how to have your COVID certificate sent direct to the COVID Certificate app. Already when the sample is taken you must say that you want a COVID certificate.

Do you want a certificate after a negative pooled PCR test result on the basis of repeat testing?

Ask your employer about the procedure for applying for and having a COVID certificate issued. If your employer cannot yet issue certificates, they can contact the canton. The issue of certificates on the basis of repeat testing is the canton’s responsibility. As of 17 January 2022, the issue of COVID certificates must be offered for repeat testing.  

How long is the certificate valid?

PCR test: the COVID certificate is valid for 72 hours from when the sample was taken.

Rapid antigen test: the COVID certificate is valid for 24 hours from when the sample was taken.  

The period of validity may be adjusted at any time on the basis of new scientific findings.

I’m unable to have the vaccination or a test for medical reasons. How do I obtain a COVID certificate and how long is it valid?

To be able to apply for a COVID certificate (exemption certificate) you need a medical certificate (note) from a doctor confirming that for medical reasons it is impossible for you to have a vaccination and impossible for you to have a test (nasal swab or saliva test). You can then use the doctor’s note you have been issued to apply for a COVID certificate from your canton. You’ll find detailed information on the application offices on the cantonal websites.

Note: The group of people for whome both vaccination and a test is impossible is very small. If you cannot be vaccinated but can be tested, you cannot be issued with an exemption certificate. However, you can obtain a medical certificate (note) from a doctor confirming that it is impossible for you to have the vaccination, as per Annex 4 to the COVID-19 Special Situation Ordinance. You will find out how to get admission to places requiring a certificate on the Use of the COVID certificate page.

Transitional phase until 13 February 2022

Until 13 February 2022 you can also use your paper medical certificate (doctor’s note) for admission to areas requiring a certificate. After that the medical certificate (doctor’s note) will no longer be accepted. You will then have to be able to show a COVID certificate.

How long is the exemption certificate valid?

The COVID certificate is valid for 365 days from the date the doctor’s note was issued, and is only valid in Switzerland.

Further information

Vaccination

All about the COVID-19 vaccination.

Tests

Testing strategy, coverage of the costs of tests, overview of the different types of tests, when to get tested, and where to get tested

Last modification 26.01.2022

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Contact

Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Infoline Coronavirus
Tel. +41 58 463 00 00

Infoline National COVID certificate application platform: +41 58 469 79 63 (every day from 7am to 8pm)

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