COVID-19 - get tested

1. Overview

Who should be tested?

Generally speaking, COVID tests are no longer necessary or useful, even when symptoms occur. 

The steps to take in case of symptoms are the same whether the illness is influenza, COVID or another seasonal virus. 

A COVID test is still necessary in two cases:

  • For people with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 AND provided that the test result has implications for the patient's treatment. The doctor assesses the situation with the patient and prescribes a PCR test for COVID if the result is to be used as a basis for a decision, e.g. for the introduction of a COVID antiviral drug. The PCR test can be taken by the doctor in his or her office, who then sends it to a laboratory for analysis. 
  • For travel purposes.

Are COVID tests reimbursed?

Since 1st January 2023, tests are reimbursed under the compulsory basic insurance scheme (AOS) and only if prescribed by a doctor. A contribution to the costs ("franchise" and "co-payment") is now applied. Without a medical prescription, the costs of the test will be the responsibility of the individual.

In all other cases, the test is at the expense of the individual.

General context

On 8 December 2022, the Federal Parliament decided to end the systematic reimbursement of COVID tests by the Confederation. This is an important change and a new step in the standardisation process.

Normalisation means that COVID becomes a disease similar to other diseases, especially respiratory viruses, in terms of treatment. The priority is to avoid transmission, and the measures to do so are known and easy to apply. Henceforth, as with other diseases, it is up to the doctor to decide on the strategy to be implemented, from testing to treatment.

Last updated
27 January 2023

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