Coronavirus: SwissCovid app and contact tracing

The contact tracing identifies people with close contact with people who have been infected with the coronavirus. The SwissCovid app supports this process: it establishes whether such contact has taken place. This allows for chains of transmission to be broken.

Breaking transmission chains more quickly thanks to the SwissCovid app

The SwissCovid app for mobile phones (Android/iPhone) is helping to contain the coronavirus. It complements the conventional contact tracing carried out by cantonal authorities to track new infections. Chains of transmission can thus be broken more quickly. The SwissCovid app is available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Use of the SwissCovid app is voluntary and free of charge. The more people who install and use the app, the more effectively the app can help us to combat the new coronavirus.

Please continue to follow the rules on hygiene and social distancing.

How does the SwissCovid app work?

Switch on Bluetooth on your mobile phone and have your mobile phone with you at all times.

When within Bluetooth range, mobile phones on which the SwissCovid app or compatible apps are installed exchange random IDs (identification codes) with each other. These IDs remain stored on the mobile phones for 14 days and are subsequently deleted automatically.

Apps compatible with the SwissCovid app are similar apps from other countries (e.g. Germany’s Corona-Warn app). The random IDs of those with apps from other countries are currently stored, but it is not currently possible to receive notifications via these apps.

How the SwissCovid app issues warnings

If you have installed the SwissCovid app and you have tested positive for the coronavirus, you receive a Covidcode (release code). Covidcodes can be issued by cantonal authorities and doctors who perform tests.

The Covidcode allows you to activate the notification function in the app, thereby enabling you to warn other app users with whom you came into close contact during the infectious phase (starting two days prior to the onset of symptoms) – automatically and anonymously. The individuals who are issued alerts are not informed of the identity of the person who triggered the notification. However, it is possible that someone could work out the identity of the contact based on the date.

You will receive a notification under the following two conditions

Within a 24-hour period, you had contact with an infected person:

  • at a distance of under 1.5 metres
  • for at least 15 minutes

Or:

Within a 24-hour period, you had contact with several infected individuals:

  • at a distance of under 1.5 metres
  • for less than 15 minutes per person
  • but for a total of more than 15 minutes overall

What do you need to do if you receive a notification from the app?

Please follow the recommendations in the app.

Protect the people around you by avoiding personal contact with others to the greatest possible extent during the ten days after a possible infection. The SwissCovid app will inform you of how many days you should still do this.

Complete the SwissCovid guide and follow the instructions. If you are subsequently still unsure how you should proceed, call the SwissCovid Infoline. The telephone number will be displayed in the app if you receive an alert.

Privacy is maintained at all times.

You already have symptoms?

Get yourself tested. To do so, call your doctor or use the services available in your canton.

Say that you have been notified by the app that you have been in contact with at least one person who has tested positive for the new coronavirus and that you have symptoms.

Stay at home, avoid contact with other people and go into isolation. This will allow you to avoid infecting other people and interrupt the chain of infection. Read the instructions on isolation

Install and activate the SwissCovid app

Icon SwissCovid App

Download the SwissCovid app

Please download and install the SwissCovid app from the normal app stores:

In the following video you will see how to install and activate the SwissCovid app on your mobile phone within half a minute.

Protecting privacy

Data about other users recorded by your mobile phone is only saved locally on the device. Neither mobile phones nor the SwissCovid app send any personal or location data to a central storage location or server. This means that no one can work out who you have been in contact with or where that contact took place.

Once the coronavirus crisis is over, the system will be shut down.

SwissCovid app monitoring

The Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication FOITT informs the Federal Statistical Office FSO daily of the number of active apps and Covidcodes entered as well as the number of calls to the Infoline due the receipt of a notification that they may have been infected. You can find out more by gong to the FSO website:  SwissCovid App Monitoring.

Further information

Legal position

Before the SwissCovid app was able to be launched, the federal government had to amend the Epidemics Act, which regulates organisational and operational matters, the processed data and using the app. Parliament approved the amendment to the Act on 19 June 2020.

Free testing on notification

Anyone who receives a notification via the SwissCovid app that they may be infected with the coronavirus is entitled to be tested free of charge.

Compensation for loss of earnings related to coronavirus measures

You can find out more about this topic on the Federal Social Insurance Office FSIO website (in German, French or Italian)

Security test

IT specialists and various groups of people have comprehensively tested how well the SwissCovid app works and its data security levels in a pilot phase. The National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC) has assessed the test results and arranged the modifications to the app that are required.

You will find further information on the security test for the SwissCovid systems (Public Security Test: SwissCovid Proximity Tracing System) the NCSC/MELANI website.

Producer

The SwissCovid app system has been developed on behalf of and in cooperation with the FOPH by the Federal Office for Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication FOITT, the Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss company Ubique.

FAQs, factsheet, report, ordinance, technical information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Technical Information

Report

Ordinance

This content is not available in English. Please switch to the German, French or Italian version.

Technical Information

Contact Tracing: tracing of transmission chains

The task of contact tracing is to identify persons who have been in contact with an infected person and thus to identify chains of transmission. Individuals who have become ill must go into isolation, while those they have come into contact with must go into quarantine (see the page on Isolation and quarantine). This allows for chains of transmission to be broken.

How does contact tracing work?

The cantonal authorities responsible for tracing chains of transmission proceed as follows:

When a person tests positive for the coronavirus

  • The cantonal authorities work with the person who has tested positive to ascertain who they have been in close contact with – in the 48 hours before the symptoms of the disease developed, up to the point at which they went into isolation.
  • The cantonal authorities notify these individuals that they may be infected. They are required to go into quarantine for ten days (from the time they came into contact with the infected person).
  • If they do not develop any symptoms after ten days, they are allowed to leave quarantine by the authorities.

When a person notified already has symptoms of the disease or symptoms develop during the quarantine period

  • They must immediately go into isolation.
  • They must get tested.
  • If the test is positive, the authorities will also trace the persons they have been in close contact with.
  • If the individual was already in quarantine, they are unlikely to have been in close contact with many other people. Quarantine has already broken the chain of transmission.

Documents

downloads

Downloads in various languages

Information campaign ‘Protect yourself and others’: posters, videos and instructions in different languages, incl. those of Switzerland’s migrant population

Further information

SwissCovid: Data Protection Statement & Conditions of Use

The Terms and Conditions of Use and the Data Protection Statement for the SwissCovid App

Isolation and quarantine

What to do in the event of symptoms and following contact with an infected person, information on isolation and quarantine and recommendations for symptomatic children

Last modification 09.04.2021

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Contact

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

Print contact

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