Rule change: Swiss Covid certificate no longer free for US/UK visitors

A change in Covid rules means US, UK and Indian arrivals must pay for a Covid certificate in Switzerland as of Monday.

Switzerland's Covid certificate app. Photo: FOPH
Switzerland's Covid certificate app. Photo: FOPH

Please note: From November 1st, Brits visiting Switzerland will be allowed to use their NHS app wherever the Covid certificate is required. Therefore, while it will still cost CHF30 for Brits (along with Americans, Indians and other visitors), they will not need to do so as they can show their NHS pass (in digital or paper form). More information is available here.  

From Monday, October 11th, people coming to Switzerland from non-EU /EFTA countries — including from the US, India and the UK — will have to pay to convert their evidence of vaccination to a Swiss Covid certificate.

Visitors can expect to pay 30 francs for this service.

For those coming from EU/EFTA countries – or who have a Covid certificate/passport from one of these countries – they will not need to convert it when they arrive in Switzerland. 

This is because EU/EFTA passes can be used throughout Switzerland wherever the Covid certificate is required and therefore does not need to be ‘converted’. 

Swiss tourism officials and ski resort operators are concerned that non-European tourists will be put off by the financial and logistical obstacles.

“These tourists are essential for ski resorts”, according to Markus Berger, spokesperson for Switzerland Tourism.

“With the 30-franc fee, we have a hurdle that other countries don’t have”, Berger said.

While neighbouring France and Germany also require certificate conversion, this procedure is free of charge there.

“The reason why this service is free in France is obvious”, Berger said, adding that the French “set it up and made it available very quickly, offering it free of charge as an active tourism promotion measure. Unfortunately, there is no such awareness in Switzerland”.

The tourism industry is lobbying federal authorities in Bern in an effort to rescind the 30-franc rule.

Exactly where the certificate will be needed on Switzerland’s slopes remains to be seen. 

Specific information on how to get Switzerland’s Covid certificate for arrivals from all countries can be found at the following link. 

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

Member comments

  1. The federal application process just went live within the last 12 hours. I applied for mine and it was a relatively simple process, though there was a bit of confusion when it asked for “Last Dose”. The app was looking for 1 or 2, depending on how many doses you had. We will see if the screenshots from my hotel app and airline reservations will be enough, they mentioned 5 working days for approval.

    1. Well I already got my certificate, it even loads in the app when importing the pdf as I never provided a transfer code. My wife however was not so lucky, her CDC vaccination card has two dates… the larger of which is the expiration date of the specific batch she received. Unfortunately they read this as the date the dose was received, even though the expiration date is a future date. I called the Federal health office who could only provide technical support and thus I emailed the canton (Zurich) yesterday. I have yet to receive a response, though I’ll call in a few days of necessary.

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Switzerland proposes travellers pay for Covid boosters

Under a new plan put forth by the Swiss government, anyone who needs a booster shot for travel abroad should pay for it out of pocket.

Switzerland proposes travellers pay for Covid boosters

While Covid shots were previously free for everyone in Switzerland, with the Swiss government picking up the tab, the country has been reluctant to issue a recommendation for a second booster.

As The Local reported on Monday, this means that many people’s most recent shot will soon be more than nine months ago, which is the date at which many Covid passes expire. 

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

Although evidence of vaccination is not required domestically in Switzerland any more, it may pose issues in 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.

Swiss health authorities: Travellers should pay for Covid boosters themselves

According to newest recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), people travelling abroad who need second booster doses must pay for the shots themselves.

As the fourth vaccine dose is currently recommended only for people with a severely weakened immune system, everyone outside of this group will be charged as yet undefined fee.

The proposal was sent to the cantons for consultation until June 1st.

If agreed on, the Federal Council will adjust the Epidemics Ordinance accordingly on June 10th.