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 certificates are available? Under which conditions can I get which 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
COVID-19 vaccination
You are 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)
COVID-19 vaccination You are vaccinated abroad with a vaccine that has been authorised by the EMA.
COVID-19 vaccination You are 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.
Recovery
You tested positive in Switzerland or abroad with a PCR test.
365 days
Recovery You tested positive in Switzerland with an antibody test. 90 days from the date on which the sample was taken
Negative test result
You tested negative in Switzerland with a PCR test.
72 hours from the date on which the sample was taken
Negative test result You tested negative in Switzerland with a rapid antigen test. 48 hours from the date on which the sample was taken

You cannot get a COVID certificate to certify recovery from COVID based on a positive rapid antigen test.

No COVID certificate for a negative test result will be issued for a negative self-test or negative antibody test or for tests carried out 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, 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 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, 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.

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 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)

You also have to be able to prove that you live in Switzerland or are a Swiss abroad or that you plan to travel to Switzerland (e.g. as a tourist). You have to be able to provide evidence of the vaccination you received abroad as well as evidence of your stay in Switzerland or, as a Swiss abroad, your link to Switzerland. If you are planning to travel to Switzerland, you must provide proof of your intention to enter Switzerland (e.g. hotel booking, flight or train ticket). You also have to be able to identify yourself.

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.  

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 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)
  • COVAXIN®

You must also 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

Did you receive a vaccine that is only approved for use by the WHO and are you travelling to Switzerland as a tourist? If so, you cannot currently apply for a COVID certificate.

From 30 November 2021 you can also apply for a COVID certificate if you are travelling to Switzerland as a tourist and received a vaccine that is only approved for use by the WHO. The certificate will then be valid for 30 days in Switzerland only.

Did you receive the Sputnik V vaccine? A COVID certificate cannot currently be issued for this or other vaccines that are not approved for use by the WHO.  

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.  

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.

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.

How long is the COVID certificate valid?

  • 365 days from when the last vaccine dose was administered.

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 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 ago.
  • You can present a positive antibody test.

You cannot get a COVID certificate to certify recovery from COVID based on a positive rapid antigen test.

Did you test positive in Switzerland or abroad with a PCR test?

If so, 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).

Were you tested positive abroad with a PCR test?

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.

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 the date of the test result (in other words, the certificate is actually valid for 354 days in total).

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.

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

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.

The COVID certificate is valid for 72 hours from the time at which the sample was taken.

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.

In order for you to receive a COVID certificate, the test must be performed with a nose and throat swab. Tests performed with nose swabs alone are not permitted.

The COVID certificate is valid for 48 hours from the time at which the sample was taken.

COVID certificates are not issued for negative self-tests or negative 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.

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 18.11.2021

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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)

Print contact

https://www.bag.admin.ch/content/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/covid-zertifikat/covid-zertifikat-erhalt-gueltigkeit.html