The COVID certificate certifies the successful vaccination, recovery from the disease or the negative result of a test. From 7 June 2021, the system will be phased in and will be available in Switzerland until the end of June 2021.
- What is the COVID certificate?
- When and where can I get the COVID certificate?
- How can I get the COVID certificate?
- How long is the COVID certificate valid?
- In what situations is the COVID certificate used?
- When will the COVID certificate be used?
- EU certificate
- Information for certificate controllers
- Information for certificate issuers
- Information for system manufacturers
- Technical information
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the COVID certificate?
The COVID certificate is a way of certifying vaccination, recovery from disease or a negative test result and will be delivered to you, upon request, in paper form or as a PDF document, along with a QR code.
The COVID certificate in paper form
The COVID certificate contains, in addition to surname, first name, date of birth and certificate number, also data relating to the anti-COVID-19 vaccination, recovery or negative result of a PCR test or a rapid antigen test. The central element of the COVID certificate is the QR code which, thanks to an electronic signature of the Swiss Confederation, makes the certificate non-falsifiable, also guaranteeing its authenticity.
COVID certificate project in paper form for people vaccinated, cured or tested negative:
The COVID certificate available in the “COVID Certificate” app
You can also have your COVID certificate in electronic form. To this end, from 7 June 2021 the “COVID Certificate” app can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store . The “COVID Certificate” app allows you to scan the QR code on the COVID certificate with your camera and save it on your mobile device. In this way, your data is not saved in a centralized system.
In the “COVID Certificate” app you can save several COVID certificates, for example various negative test results or the certificates of your family members. The app also indicates the duration of validity of the COVID certificate and its expiration date in Switzerland.
You can print the COVID certificate or show the electronic version using the app. To verify your personal COVID certificate, you may be asked to prove your identity with a photo ID (e.g. ID card or passport).
What is the COVID certificate and how does it work? Find out in the summary of the explanatory video:
When and where can I get the COVID certificate?
The first COVID certificates will be released gradually starting from 7 June 2021 and will be available at the latest until the end of June 2021. The date of introduction may vary from one canton to another. Detailed information will be published gradually on the web pages of the cantons.
The COVID certificate will presumably be issued by the following structures:
- vaccination centers
- medical studies
- test centers
How can I get the COVID certificate?
There are various possibilities to obtain the COVID certificate, depending on whether you want to certify the vaccination, the recovery from the disease or the negative result of a test.
Procedure for vaccinated persons
Have you already been fully vaccinated?
The website of the canton where you were given your final vaccination provides information on how to apply for the certificate.
Have you been fully vaccinated as of the end of June 2021?
Obtain the COVID certificate digitally and automatically in PDF format or, on request, on site.
Procedure for healed people
Obtain a COVID certificate if the disease has been confirmed by a PCR test and if the cantonal authority has lifted the isolation.
You can apply for the COVID certificate from 14 June 2021 in your canton using an online form. The delivery of the paper format takes place by post within approximately 7 days of the request.
Procedure for people whose test is negative
Have you tested negative on a PCR test? In this case, the COVID certificate will be sent to you by the end of June directly on the “COVID Certificate” app.
Have you tested negative on a rapid antigen test? In this case the COVID certificate will be issued directly by the test centers.
No COVID certificate will be issued for self-tests.
How long is the COVID certificate valid?
The shelf life varies depending on whether you have been given a COVID-19 vaccine, recovered from the disease, or tested negative. It may also vary according to the most recent scientific knowledge.
For vaccinated people
- 180 days from the administration of the last dose of vaccine
For healed people
- The validity of the certificate starts from the eleventh day following that of the positive result of a test and has a duration of 180 days starting from the result of the test.
For people whose test came back negative
- PCR test: 72 hours from the moment the sample was taken
- Rapid antigen test: 24 hours from the time the sample was taken
In what situations is the COVID certificate used?
In which situations in Switzerland should the COVID certificate be used?
Information on this is available in the document below.
Traveling with the COVID certificate: entering other countries
A COVID certificate valid for Switzerland does not represent any guarantee to enter other countries. Each country defines its own entry rules and has the competence to constantly adapt them according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation.
It is therefore possible that some countries will adopt more stringent entry rules than Switzerland, as has been the case up to now. Therefore, before each trip you should find out about the entry regulations by consulting the official website of the country of destination.
To travel within the EU space, the following website provides a first overview of the rules adopted by individual EU countries:
When will the COVID certificate be used?
The legal bases (ordinances) that more concretely regulate the use of the COVID certificate in Switzerland and for travel abroad are currently being developed. The Federal Council will probably take a decision on this on June 23, 2021.
Until the COVID certificate is available to the entire population (probably at the end of June 2021), the documents used so far are valid as proof of vaccination, recovery or negativity to the test .
In Europe, the EU and other EFTA countries will also introduce a digital COVID certificate (“EU Digital COVID Certificate”). The COVID certificate of Switzerland will be compatible with that of the EU. The “EU Digital COVID Certificate” is intended to simplify travel during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be used from 1 July 2021. From this date, a six-week introduction phase is foreseen, within which States will have to issue the certificate. Its methods of use will be decided by the individual states. Therefore, find out about the regulations on entry from abroad in your country of destination.
The EU is also currently developing a similar solution, the ‘EU digital COVID certificate’. The Swiss COVID certificate will be compatible with the “EU digital COVID certificate”.
According to what is indicated by the EU, the “EU digital COVID certificate” will facilitate the free movement of people in the EU / Schengen area, but it will be up to individual states to decide how to use it.
Information for certificate controllers
“COVID Certificate Check” app
In order to verify the authenticity and validity of the COVID certificate, the “COVID Certificate Check” app will be made available. To do this, scan the QR code on the paper certificate or via the “COVID Certificate” app, checking the electronic signature contained therein. With this procedure, the controller sees the name and date of birth of the certificate holder and whether it is valid in the “COVID Certificate Check” app. He can then verify the name and date of birth with an identity document (eg passport or identity card), thereby ensuring that the certificate was actually issued in the person’s name.
During the check procedure, the app does not save data on centralized systems or in the “COVID Certificate Check” app.
Like the “COVID Certificate” app, the “COVID Certificate Check” app will also be made available free of charge on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store as soon as its use is regulated by the authorities.
Information for certificate issuers
System to issue COVID certificates
COVID certificates will be issued in automated digital format or by doctors’ offices, vaccination centers, testing centers, hospitals, pharmacies and laboratories. The cantons are currently organizing the authorization of persons who will be able to issue COVID certificates in the future. The FOIT will provide these issuers with a system that will allow them to generate COVID certificates in the simplest and most efficient way possible. For this purpose, a web application of the FOIT will be used initially. At the same time, an electronic interface will be made available which will make it possible to issue certificates directly from the cantonal vaccination and testing systems as well as from the systems of doctors’ offices, hospitals and pharmacies.
Information for system manufacturers
Are you a systems manufacturer and intend to integrate the creation of COVID certificates into your systems? To this end, we provide you with information (in English) for connecting systems to interfaces for creating COVID certificates. This way you can integrate the creation of COVID certificates into your business processes.
The systems are connected to the FOITT interfaces on request. Some first connections will be able to be tested starting from 25 May 2021. The creation of valid certificates with the aid of interfaces will be possible during the month of June.
Interested companies can participate, until the end of June, in weekly information sessions during which information on ongoing developments will be provided and participants will be able to ask questions and make suggestions. The sessions will be held every Thursday from 10.00 to 11.30, only in online mode. Login information can be requested at the e-mail address indicated below.
Technical information on the source code and the security assessment test
The entire system of the COVID Certificate app is designed in such a way that no personal data can be saved on centralized systems of the Federal Administration.
The COVID Certificate system is based on open sources, the source code is published and accessible to all. On May 31, 2021, a security assessment test was initiated which takes place under the auspices of the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) .
As part of the test, IT and security specialists outside the project team and the Federal Administration will have the opportunity to verify the source code and report their results to the NCSC.