connect, grow & thrive.

Understanding the NEW Swiss Covid Certificate

As of November 16 the government will introduce a new Swiss Covid Certificate, this will be specifically for people who have proof that they had Covid-19 and for those who have antibodies, and it will only be valid in Switzerland.

Recovered:

As of November 16, people recovered from Covid-19 will be issued with a certificate valid for 365 days instead of 180 days like currently, this will only be valid for Switerland. The government still recommends that people who have had Covid-19 still get one vaccination 4 weeks after contracting the illness.

Antibody tests:

People unable to prove that they had the illness will be able to do an antibody test and, if it shows that they have enough Covid-19 antibodies, will then be issued with a certificate valid for 90 days. The person will have to cover the cost of the test themselves. After the certificate runs out, the person can do another test and be issued with a new certificate.

Please note that these certificates are only valid in Switzerland, they will not be recognised abroad. However the certificate for fully vaccinated people will remain valid abroad.

Tourists:

Currently, tourists who have been vaccinated abroad with a vaccine approved by Swissmedic or the EMA receive a Covid certificate that is valid in Switzerland and the EU. From the end of November 2021, tourists who have been vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine only will have access to a Swiss certificate. Currently, this concerns the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. The validity period is limited to 30 days. The certificate is only valid in Switzerland.

Indefinite coverage of testing costs for first-time vaccinated individuals:

Since October 11, the federal government has financed the tests (rapid antigen tests and saliva PCR pool tests) of persons who have received a first vaccination but not yet a Covid certificate. The testing for these individuals will continue to be covered up to a maximum of six weeks after the initial vaccination. If a person waits longer to receive the second vaccination, they will have to pay for the tests themselves.

New antigen tests to be used:

The government has decided that as the quality of samples from nasal swabs is insufficient, these tests will no longer lead to a Covid certificate. Only rapid antigen tests using a nasopharyngeal swab will be approved. This will increase the reliability of the result and reduce the risk of infected individuals receiving a certificate due to a false negative test result.

Tarif adjustment for rapid tests:

The Federal Council has also adjusted the cost coverage for rapid antigen tests by the federal government and reduced it from currently CHF 47.- to a maximum of CHF 36.- This means that the rapid antigen tests now cost at most the same as the newly available and qualitatively better pooled saliva PCR tests for individuals.

Booster vaccine:

The booster vaccine or third vaccine currently remains available for people aged over 65 or who can prove that their immune system is deficient and their Covid-19 antibody count is low. The third vaccine will be adminstred 6 months after the second vaccine was given.

For more information go to the bag-admin website.

charlie.hartmann@livinginluzern.swiss

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.

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