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What we know – and don’t know – about Switzerland’s Covid immunity certificate so far

Switzerland’s coronavirus immunity pass is just over two weeks away, but there are still some important details we don’t know yet about the plan.

What we know - and don’t know - about Switzerland’s Covid immunity certificate so far
What will Switzerland's Covid immunity pass look like? Photo: LENNART PREISS / AFP

With vaccinations continuing throughout Switzerland and across the world, governments have begun plotting their first steps in returning to normal. 

It has become clear that a central aspect of this return to normality will involve the implementation of a coronavirus ‘immunity card’. 

Otherwise known as a ‘green card’ or ‘vaccination certificate’, the certificate is likely to be a digitalised form of the existing vaccination passport which would entitle holders to certain privileges. 

Here’s what we know – and don’t know – about the pass. 

More information is available at the following link. 

UPDATED: Everything you need to know about Switzerland’s coronavirus immunity card

When is it supposed to be implemented? 

The Swiss government has announced the immunity card will be implemented from June 7th onwards. 

More information about the specific implementation is available at the following link. 

What will it look like? 

The Swiss government said that the document should be easy to use and to read – which is why it will be implemented uniformly across the country. 

Berset told Swiss media that he did not want it to become a cantonal responsibility as the result would be 26 different types of certificates. 

Swiss media reports that when the immunity pass is up and running it will be implemented as a QR code. 

People can either carry it in paper form (i.e. printed out as it’s a little difficult to draw an accurate QR code) or on a mobile phone, tablet or other similar device. 

Indications are that it may become a part of the Swiss Covid app, although more work needs to be done in this area as this app does not work in older smartphones. 

What will it allow me to do? 

Although the exact specifics of a coronavirus immunity card have not been defined in Switzerland, the ‘card’ – which would be in digital form – is expected to have two major functions: domestic and international. 

The government said it aims “to develop a standardised, forgery-proof and internationally recognised certificate”.

On the one hand it will form part of an international arrangement which will allow for travel to again take place. 

On the other, it will allow certain privileges to people domestically – for instance visiting bars and restaurants, along with events and participating in sports and leisure activities. 

This will not however mean two separate cards – all functions will instead be placed on the one document. 

The exact specifics about what you are allowed to do have yet to be determined. 

What data will it show? 

Initial media reports focused on the vaccine aspect of the new plan, i.e. that people who had been vaccinated will have their details recorded in the card and be entitled to do certain things. 

It has now become clear that people who have tested negative to the virus and those who have contracted it recently but have recovered will also be entitled to certain privileges. 

How will it protect my data? 

This has been a major concern among both government and citizens. 

While government wants to ensure that the data is correct and that people cannot fake or forge the passes, citizens have expressed concerns that their data may not be safe. 

The Federal Council has promised to adhere to data protection rules, although the way they plan to do that has not been specified. 

One possible solution is to make sure that the QR code operates in an anonymous manner, i.e. that when it is scanned it does not reveal any information about the person, only that they have immunity to the virus. 

As reported by Switzerland’s Watson news agency on May 20th, the Federal Council has yet to indicate the specifics of its plan to adhere to data rules. 

Member comments

  1. I am a US citizen who has vacationed in Switzerland (Wengen) for the past 25 years. Of course, not last year. I have been full vaccinated with Pfizer. All I have to prove that I am vaccinated is my CDC card. I hope to fly into Zurich on July 1. We have no “vaccination passports” yet in the US. How will I be able to prove that I have been vaccinated?

    1. Unfortunately, Switzerland is not currently open to American vacationers. Hopefully, this could change by the 1st of July. There are some exceptions to who can enter so you may want to check that to see if you fit any of them. When Switzerland does open up to tourists, particularly Americans I’m sure they will outline how the passport will work for vaccinated people.

  2. We have dual citizenship with The U.S. and Switzerland and the U.S. does not have a “vaccination passport”. With proof of vaccination with J&J and Pfizer, will we be able to get the Swiss vaccination certificate in Switzerland or will we be able to get the certificate at our consulate in the U.S.?

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Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival announced on Friday that it was forced to drop the acts of four UK-based artists from its summer program because they haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists
British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man was dropped from Montreux Jazx Festival. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

The move was done in order to comply with current Covid-19 entry rules into Switzerland, which state that from June 26th, travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including Brits, will only be allowed to enter Switzerland if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. 

READ ALSO: Switzerland relaxes travel rules for vaccinated Americans and Brits: What you need to know

British soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man who was one of the headliners for the 2021 edition of the festival, which starts on July 2nd, will now no longer be able to attend due to not being fully vaccinated.

Other unvaccinated acts based in the UK who were also dropped because of the new entry rules include Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio.

The artists have already been replaced with other performers from around Europe including Italian singer Zucchero, Woodkid, Dutch songwriter Benny Sings and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression.

In a statement on June 25th, festival organisers said they were trying to make sure that the concerts of the other UK artists would continue to go ahead, however it is tricky because of fears over the Delta strain of the Covid virus, which has now become dominant in Britain.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of just a small handful of big music festivals in Switzerland that will still go ahead this summer. Other music events such as St Gallen Open-Air, Paléo and Bern’s Gurten festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to ongoing fears over the Covid-19 virus.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What rules do European countries have for travellers from the UK?