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Canton-by-canton: How visitors can get Switzerland’s Covid certificate

From September 20th, all travellers inoculated with a EU-approved vaccine can get a Swiss Covid certificate to gain access to restaurants, bars, and other indoor venues. Here’s how to do this.

Canton-by-canton: How visitors can get Switzerland’s Covid certificate
Getting a certificate in Switzerland will enable tourists to access restaurants. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

All people coming from abroad must have a certificate to prove vaccination or recovery from coronavirus within the past six months.

Those who don’t, are required to have a negative Covid test before arriving in Switzerland, and take the second one four to seven days later.

Things have gotten easier for vaccinated tourists, however.

EXPLAINED: Who can enter Switzerland right now and what are the rules?

Prior to September 20th, only vaccines approved for use in Switzerland — Pfizer/Biontech, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson — were accepted for the Covid certificate.

But from Monday, foreign visitors vaccinated abroad with a jab approved by the European Medicines Agency will be able to obtain a Swiss Covid certificate.

This includes people vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Sinopharm

Who can get the Swiss Covid certificate from abroad? 

Basically anyone who is entering Switzerland can get the Swiss Covid certificate from abroad. 

The official government advice is as follows

“You must be resident in Switzerland, staying in Switzerland, or intend to enter Switzerland. You must also be able to provide sufficient evidence of the vaccination performed abroad and your stay in Switzerland, and be able to prove your identity.”

You need the following to apply for the Covid certificate: 

  • Information on your nationality or on your residency status in Switzerland (e.g. copy of passport)
  • Information on your country of origin Confirmation of vaccination (e.g. vaccination certificate with details of the vaccines, date of last vaccination, number of doses received, existing certificate if applicable)
  • Reason for your stay in Switzerland, how long you are staying and where
  • Proof of address or residence or proof of arrival in Switzerland (e.g. plane ticket, train ticket, or accommodation booking)

As reported by The Local Switzerland previously, people from outside the EU/EFTA states need to pay CHF30 for this service from October 11th onwards. More information is available here

How can tourists do this?

Issuing Covid certificates is up to health authorities in every canton. The process is similar in each one.

You can contact your canton directly. Otherwise, the federal government has set up a portal through which you can get your Covid certificate. 

The direct link is here. 

The Local contacted the health office in Vaud and asked how a traveller from abroad should proceed to receive their certificate.

We were told that the visitor should request a certificate by emailing to [email protected] the documentation such as a copy of the plane, train, or bus ticket to Switzerland showing the date of arrival in and departure from the country.

Official proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid, with all the pertinent dates included, must also be sent. You will also need to provide ID. 

If you qualify, you will receive the certificate back by email.

Similar procedures are in place in other cantons as well.

In Geneva, the certificate can be requested by filling out this form.

Zurich also allows you to apply for the certificate online.

And this information pertains to obtaining the certificate in Basel and Valais.

You can find out the information for other cantons, as well as the procedures they have in place here.

Please note that to improve your chances of getting your certificate in time, you should apply before your visit to Switzerland, as it may take several days to process your request.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How do visitors get Switzerland’s Covid certificate to access bars, gyms and restaurants?

Member comments

  1. We are very happy that you keep updating new information with regards to the Covid Certificate but the system is still not accepting our information ie the NHS Covid Pass.
    We travel to the Valais on the 22nd September from London Heathrow and have tried on many occasion to get the Swiss Covid Certificate but it is still not happening, despite using your link to the appropriate canton.
    It would seem the problem still lies with us no longer being in the EU and having both AstraZeneca vaccines.
    Philip and Nicola Hodder

    1. Applied to get the covid cert in Vaud on-line, but in addition to flight details and Scottish covid certs they also wanted passport id. Meanwhile I had a copy of the change from 20 sep saying until 10Oct foreign covid certs can be used to access places with a covid cert requirement. In every case after showing the “bag’ entry and checking our covid certificate against our passport, we were accepted albeit with varying degrees of reluctance.
      Terry Knight

    2. Hi Philip and Nicola,

      Sorry to hear about this. As we said, the official policy from September 20th is that if you have your proof of vaccination – including with AstraZeneca – from abroad, you will be able to get a Covid certificate. Please get in touch at [email protected]. Daniel.

  2. Getting a Covid certificate for Basel proved very easy. Passport copy, proof of vaccination & transfer code from the app & it was updated within 24 hours. Sorry it seems to be less straightforward for other cantons!

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What will Switzerland do about the ‘millions’ of expiring Covid certificates?

In the coming months, millions of Covid certificates are set to expire in Switzerland. What will the government do about it?

What will Switzerland do about the ‘millions’ of expiring Covid certificates?

As certificates are valid for nine months after the second vaccine dose or a booster, “millions of Swiss Covid certificates will expire by autumn at the latest”, according to Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes.

As many Swiss received their most recent shot in late 2021, the nine-month period will soon be coming to an end. 

Although this is not a problem domestically as proof of vaccination is no longer required in Switzerland, it may pose issues for travel. 

Since many countries still require a vaccination certificate for entry, and as the second round of boosters is not yet available in Switzerland,  this means that a large number of people may not be able to travel abroad.

And while other countries have already started to administer second booster shots, Swiss health authorities are dragging their feet, not having even issued a recommendation for the fourth dose yet.

This worries some MPs, who are calling on the government to make second boosters available soonest possible.

“The past has shown that cantons are not always sufficiently prepared. Something like this mustn’t happen again”, said MP Fabian Molina, adding that anyone travelling abroad should be able to be re-vaccinated if they wish. 

Another deputy, Yvonne Feri, noted that the federal government and the cantons have to prepare to vaccinate again within a short period of time.

READ MORE: Reader question: When will Switzerland roll out second Covid boosters?