Covid certificate: Can the UK’s NHS app be used in Switzerland?

Covid certificate: Can the UK’s NHS app be used in Switzerland?
Does the NHS app work in Switzerland? Photo by ERIC PIERMONT / AFP
Switzerland’s stricter Covid certificate rules may pose challenges for non-EU travellers. Here’s what we know so far.

PLEASE NOTE: From Monday, September 20th, Switzerland will change the entry rules, allowing those vaccinated with AstraZeneca to get a Covid certificate. Read here for more

From Monday, September 13th, anyone visiting bars, restaurants, gyms or many other cultural venues, will need to show the certificate. 

The Covid-19 certificate – otherwise known as the Covid-19 pass or the green pass – is available in paper and digital form.

The pass “provides documentary evidence that you have had a COVID-19 vaccination, have had and recovered from the disease or have tested negative”.

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

Everyone over the age of 16 will have to show a Covid certificate. People aged 15 and under will not. 

What are the rules for entering Switzerland? 

In order to enter Switzerland, you do not need to have a Covid certificate. 

You can show your NHS app or any other official evidence that you have been vaccinated, including paper evidence, when asked at the border. 

We have heard from some readers that border guards are reluctant to accept the NHS app. As a backup, please try and bring your paper evidence of being vaccinated with you. 

The vaccines accepted for entry into Switzerland are any of those which have been approved by the EMA and include those commonly administered in the UK.  

More information about the vaccines which are accepted for entry into Switzerland can be found at the following link. 

Reader question: Can I get a Covid certificate in Switzerland if I was vaccinated with AstraZeneca?

Can I use the NHS app in Switzerland? 

Currently, apps from other EU countries can be used in Switzerland anywhere where the Covid certificate is required. 

The situation for non-EU apps is more difficult. 

As yet, any apps from outside the EU are not accepted, including the NHS app and Israel’s Green Pass app. 

When Switzerland expanded the Covid certificate framework, it said non-EU apps “may be recognised” at some point in the future. 

A spokesperson from the Swiss government told The Local on September 10th that a policy change was currently being considered which would allow for non-EU apps to be used. 

This was also confirmed in a press release, which can be found here. 

As yet, no date has been given for a policy change, but this may be part of the government’s plan to change entry rules in late September. 

More information about that plan can be seen at the following link. 

READ MORE: Switzerland to tighten entry rules from September 20th

Several readers have told us that they’ve tried to scan the NHS app into the Swiss certificate framework without success. 

However, others have said they have shown the app to waiters and other staff members successfully, although keep in mind that venues are under no obligation to accept it. 

Member comments

  1. Can one enter Switzerland from the UK with the vaccine certificate on the NHS App, if one is double vaccinated in the UK with Astra Zeneca?

    1. Yes, because AZ is approved by the EMA. But you won’t be able to visit anywhere requiring a Swiss/EU Covid Pass once you’re over here…….bars / restaurants etc.

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