Switzerland announces extended use of Covid certificate as ICU admissions rise

Switzerland announces extended use of Covid certificate as ICU admissions rise
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announces a change in the country's Covid-19 health pass rules. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Switzerland's Covid certificate will be required in bars, restaurants, gyms and some private events from Monday onwards, with the government saying "the situation in the hospitals is serious".

Switzerland’s Federal Council will extend the Covid certificate from September 13th. 

In a press conference on Wednesday Health Minister Alain Berset said the Covid certificate – which proves vaccination, a negative test or recovery from the disease – would now be required in almost all indoor areas, other than a handful of exceptions. 

Berset said the expansion was necessary, as the “situation is very serious” in the hospitals. 

More than 90 percent of those patients in Swiss hospitals have not been vaccinated, said the health minister.

Switzerland has the most patients in ICU of any European country on a per capita basis. 

EXPLAINED: Why does Switzerland have Europe’s highest number of ICU admissions? 

Covid certificates will be required to enter indoor areas of restaurants, bars, fitness centres, as well as sports events, cultural facilities, and some private events, as is currently the case in most of Switzerland’s neighbour countries.

However they won’t be needed to have a drink on a bar or café terrace as is the case in France.

The certificate will also be required in the workplace in many instances. 

The certificate will not be required for funerals, protests, weddings, church visits or for any outdoor dining or drinking. It will however be required in outdoor cinemas and zoos. 

More information about where the certificate is required – and where it is not – is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: What will Switzerland’s expanded Covid certificate look like?

Why was the announcement delayed? 

Even though this plan was set to be approved on September 1st after being put out for consultation in late August, authorities postponed its implementation due to a slower than expected increase in hospitalisations at the time. 

However, the number of admissions to intensive care units has increased in the past few days, with Swiss intensive care units having more Covid-related patients than any other European country on a per capita basis.

A number of cantons have reached or are reaching their full capacities in all of their ICUs. 

On a nationwide basis, ICUs are at 87 percent capacity, as at September 7th. 

READ MORE: Why does Switzerland have the most Covid-related ICU patients in Europe?

More information about the measures can be found here

Do you have further questions about Switzerland’s Covid certificate or think there is something we could cover? Get in touch at [email protected] 


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