What will Switzerland’s Covid-19 pass allow you to do?
Switzerland’s Covid-19 pass is being rolled out, but confusion remains on what exactly it will allow you to do. Here’s what you need to know.
Swiss President Guy Parmelin said in early June that anyone who chose not to get vaccinated “would have to face the consequences”.
"Your own freedom stops where the freedom of others begins. That has to be a consideration” Parmelin said.
On Monday, June 7th, Switzerland finally released its Covid-19 certificate, which will provide certain rights and privileges to holders for travel and events.
The Covid-19 certificate – otherwise known as the Covid-19 pass or the green pass – is available in paper and digital form.
According to the Swiss government, the pass “provides documentary evidence that you have had a COVID-19 vaccination, have had and recovered from the disease or have tested negative”.
But while international travel will be one of the major privileges of the pass, little is known about what it will allow you to do domestically.
What will Switzerland’s Covid-19 health pass allow you to domestically?
Internationally, Switzerland’s Covid-19 pass will link up with that of the EU, thereby allowing relatively uniform rules for travel.
Domestically however, the controversial pass has been subject to political debate.
While the Council of States and the National Council want it to provide almost a complete return to normality, Switzerland’s far-right SVP are skeptical of the plan and have sought to oppose it.
In a vote on June 8th, the SVP argued that the certificate should only be used for international travel along with attending large events of more than 5,000 people and attending nightclubs and dance events - and that it should only apply until September.
This proposal was however rejected by the National Council.
How will the Covid-19 health pass work?
As at June 9th, it appears that the health pass - also known as a Covid-19 pass, Covid certificate, green passport or Covid passport - will operate on a three-tiered colour system.
Three colours - green, orange and red - will be assigned to different areas of life in Switzerland.
Those areas designated green will be deemed as elementary to life and therefore protected by basic freedoms - which means that the Covid-19 pass will not be required to access these areas.
This includes shops, schools and educational facilities, the workplace (including canteens), public transport and religious venues.
Private events will also be deemed ‘green’.
The next category, orange, will relate to places which are popular with people but not fundamental, for instance bars, restaurants and cinemas.
Events with up to 1,000 attendees will be included here, such as trade fairs, sporting events, etc.
Amateur sport and activities of cultural associations will be included here, as will visiting old people’s homes.
In ‘orange’ places, operators will be given the freedom to decide which rules they put in place - and whether they require attendees or customers with the health certificate or not.
If venues do require certificates, they will be allowed to relax other rules, such as those requiring masks or social distancing rules.
Finally, red areas include “sensitive epidemiological areas” which will require additional protection.
These will include larger events (more than 1,000 people) and international travel, along with nightclubs and larger events involving dancing.
Please note that this is still subject to ongoing debate and may therefore change.
More information is available here from the Swiss government (in English).