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What is Switzerland’s data-safe ‘light’ Covid certificate?

What is Switzerland’s data-safe ‘light’ Covid certificate?
Switzerland's Covid certificate will allow you to do a variety of things - what is the light version? Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP
Switzerland is set to launch a ‘light’ Covid certificate in response to data protection concerns on July 12th. Unlike the standard Covid certificate, it will only be available in Switzerland.

In addition to concerns about forgery, one of the major worries surrounding Switzerland’s coronavirus immunity card has been data protection. 

As a result, Switzerland in July is set to launch a ‘light’ Covid certificate, which minimises the health data visible when the certificate is scanned. 

The light certificate will allow holders to generate a copy of their actual Covid certificate, however where the underlying data – i.e. which vaccine they had, whether they have recovered from the virus or whether they tested negative – will not be visible to the person scanning the copy. 

READ MORE: How to get Switzerland’s Covid-19 health pass

The certificates will be available from July 12th, 2021. 

According to the official guidance, the certificate will only be available electronically. 

Unlike the standard Covid certificate, the certificate will only be for use domestically – i.e. it will not be compatible with the European Union Covid certificate framework. 

Therefore, while it will allow you to do certain things in Switzerland, international travel will not be one of them. 

More information about the light Covid certificate is available at the following link (in English). 

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 allow persons with the health certificate or not. 

Finally, red areas include “sensitive epidemiological areas” which will require additional protection. If venues do require certificates, they will be allowed to relax other rules, such as those requiring masks or social distancing rules. 

These will include larger events (more than 1,000 people) and international travel, along with nightclubs and larger events involving dancing. 


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