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Swiss Covid certificate: Antigen tests now accepted for recovered status

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Swiss Covid certificate: Antigen tests now accepted for recovered status
A positive Covid antigen test seen up close. Photo by Medakit Ltd on Unsplash

Due to a shortage of PCR tests, those who test positive via antigen tests will be entitled to a Covid certificate.

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Due to the PCR test shortage in Switzerland, people who test positive on an antigen test will now be entitled to a Swiss Covid certificate (for 270 days). 

Previously, this needed to be a PCR test. 

Self-tests do not apply, i.e. the antigen test must be done at a pharmacy, hospital or other official testing facility. 

Once you receive your official result, this can be loaded into your Covid certificate app, where you will have a valid Covid certificate for 270 days. 

Previously, the duration of validity for a positive test, as well as for full vaccination, was 365 days but has been shortened. 

EXPLAINED: What are the announced changes to Switzerland’s Covid measures

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Testing on entry

There have also been changes to the testing rules on entry to the country. 

People arriving in Switzerland will not need to show negative tests on entry from January 22nd onwards, provided they are vaccinated or recently recovered. 

Unvaccinated and unrecovered people will still need to provide a test on entry. 

In effect, this means that the 3G rule applies to all entering Switzerland. 

The entry form rules have also been relaxed, with only those arriving on planes or long-distance buses needing to fill out the form. 

READ MORE: Here is the form you need to enter Switzerland

PCR testing priority will also change

The shortage of PCR tests in Switzerland has also led to a change in the way these tests are prioritised. 

This is done by a step-by-step prioritisation, as laid out by the Federal Council below.

“Due to the high demand for tests and stretched laboratory capacity, the Federal Office of Public Health will recommend to the cantons a new list to prioritise the handling of PCR tests:

1. People at high risk with symptoms or who have had contact with someone who has tested positive

2. Pool tests in healthcare institutions (hospitals and clinics, retirement and care homes)

3. Pool tests in critical infrastructures (defined by the cantons)

4. Tests of people with symptoms (also possible using rapid antigen tests)

5. Pool tests at schools

6. Pool tests in the workplace

7. Tests for professional or private travel (if PCR test required)

8. Tests upon request (to obtain a test certificate)

In order to further relieve pressure on PCR testing capacities, it will be possible on a temporary basis from 24 January to obtain a Swiss certificate proving recovery from COVID-19 based on a positive rapid antigen test. This will then be valid for 270 days and only in Switzerland.”

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