SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

COVID-19 CERTIFICATE

Swiss Covid certificate: Antigen tests now accepted for recovered status

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

A positive Covid antigen test seen up close
A positive Covid antigen test seen up close. Antigen tests will now be accepted for those seeking 'recovered' status in the Covid certificate in Switzerland.. Photo by Medakit Ltd on Unsplash

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

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.”

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TRAVEL NEWS

Switzerland to drop vaccine requirement for entry from Monday

More than two years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, travel to Switzerland is set to return to normal from May 2nd.

Switzerland to drop vaccine requirement for entry from Monday

Despite winding back all Covid measures domestically on April 1st, Switzerland still required visitors from non-European countries to be vaccinated against Covid. 

Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Migration said on Twitter late in late April that all remaining entry rules would be scrapped from Monday, May 2nd. 

What were the rules? 

Up until May 2nd, visitors from the EU/EFTA zone can enter Switzerland without needing to show a vaccination or a test. Those from outside the bloc however need to show either proof of vaccination or recovery, or fit into other exception categories, including being under 18. 

This created a somewhat contradictory situation where Switzerland has some of the most relaxed rules in Europe domestically, but a stricter entry framework than many of its neighbours. 

‘Travelcheck’: This tool shows you what you need to enter Switzerland

As a consequence, Swiss tourism authorities warned that travellers from outside Europe, particularly those from the United States, China, India and the United Kingdom, are taking their tourist dollars elsewhere. 

The Swiss Tourism Association STV submitted a formal request in March that the laws be changed, saying they had put Switzerland at a disadvantage. 

How do I know which rules apply?

One of the most important elements to consider with regard to Covid entry rules is that the country where you reside rather than your nationality is the most important aspect. 

Therefore, if you are an American living in France under the current rules, you can enter without showing proof of vaccination, as you are considered to be entering from France. 

With rules constantly changing and official sources sometimes slow to keep up, the best way to determine the rules which apply in your specific case is the Swiss government’s ‘Travelcheck’ website. 

This is available here. 

The site will ask you certain questions about your situation, although no personal details are required. 

You will then receive a tailored response with advice on your entry situation. 

An extensive set of FAQs is available on the Swiss government website here

SHOW COMMENTS