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

You can request a COVID certificate in the canton where you live or are staying. Certificates for people who have been vaccinated are valid for 365 days, certificates for people who have recovered are valid for 180 days, and certificates for people who have tested negative are valid for 48 or 72 hours, depending on the type of test.

Where can I get a COVID certificate?

COVID certificates can be issued in all cantons. 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, or the relevant cantonal authority.

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 free of charge from the issuing body.

I was vaccinated in Switzerland. How can I get a COVID certificate?

Once you are fully vaccinated, 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.

I was vaccinated abroad. How can I get a COVID certificate?

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.  

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™ (AstraZeneca)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

You must be resident in Switzerland, staying in Switzerland, or intend to enter Switzerland. 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.

Application

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.

An application usually takes five days to process, but this can take slightly longer in individual cases. We therefore recommend that you apply for a certificate two weeks before your trip to Switzerland. You should also check your e-mail inbox at regular intervals. 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. They can also reject applications if the doubts cannot be resolved. In such cases, 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
  • 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.  

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 during the application process.  

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

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

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

You must also belong to one of the following groups and be able to prove this accordingly:

  • 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 you received the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines and are travelling to Switzerland as a tourist, you cannot apply for a Swiss COVID certificate.  

Nor can a COVID certificate currently be issued for vaccination with Sputnik V.

Important: Swiss COVID certificates that have been issued based on vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell) (Sinopharm / BIBP) or CoronaVac (Sinovac) are only valid in Switzerland.

Application

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
  • Proof of address or residence.

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.  

Costs

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

If you are not resident in Switzerland or if you are applying for the certificate in a canton where you do not live, you will be asked to pay a contribution for the issuing of the certificate.

I’ve recovered from COVID-19. How can I get a COVID certificate?

You can get a COVID certificate if the COVID infection was confirmed with a positive PCR test and was no more than 180 days ago.

Please note:
As the COVID certificate is compatible with the EU Digital COVID Certificate, the standards applying to the EU certificate must also serve as a basis for the Swiss certificate. This means that a certificate is only issued to people who have recovered following a positive PCR test.

You cannot get a COVID certificate to certify recovery from COVID based on a positive rapid antigen test. This is because a positive rapid antigen test must be confirmed with a PCR test.

COVID certificates cannot be issued to certify recovery following a serology (antibody) test either. While a serology test can prove that you have had contact with the virus, it doesn’t indicate how long ago the infection occurred.

Did you test positive in Switzerland and have now recovered?

You can apply for the COVID certificate via the following online form. It is then delivered in paper form by post.

Did you test positive abroad and have now recovered?

If so, you can also apply for a Swiss COVID certificate online using the National COVID certificate application platform. The application is entered in a secure environment and forwarded to the competent canton.

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 180 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 five days to process, but this can take slightly longer in individual cases. We therefore recommend that you apply for a certificate two weeks before your trip to Switzerland.

I’ve tested negative for COVID-19. How can I get a COVID certificate?

If you would like a COVID certificate as evidence of a negative test, you will generally have to pay for the test yourself. Exemptions and other information can be found on the page Tests.

In the event of a negative PCR test

The COVID certificate will be delivered directly to your COVID Certificate app on application, provided the issuer offers this service. Already when the sample is taken you must say that you want a COVID certificate.

In the event of a 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, provided the issuer offers this service.

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

Find out in the video how to have your COVID certificate sent direct to the COVID Certificate app.

From when and how long is the COVID certificate valid?

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

  • 365 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

  • The certificate is valid from the 11th day after the positive PCR test result and lasts for 180 days from the date of the test result (in other words, the certificate is valid for 169 days in total).

For people who have tested negative

  • PCR test: 72 hours from when the sample was taken
  • Rapid antigen test: 48 hours from when the sample was taken
     

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 22.10.2021

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

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