COVID-19 - get tested

2. When should one get tested ?

Testing is recommended at the first sign of any symptom consistent with COVID-19, but also in other circumstances, should the epidemiological situation require it.

You should be screened in the following cases :

Tests carried out according to these guidelines are free of charge.

You have symptoms consistent with COVID-19

There are chances that you have contracted a coronavirus infection if you have at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Acute respiratory problems (coughing, sore throat, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain);
  • Fever;
  • Sudden loss of the sense of smell or taste;
  • Muscle aches, headaches, general fatigue, common cold, gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain), skin rashes;
  • Acute confused state in an elderly person;
  • Deterioration in the general condition of an elderly person due to no known cause.

To assess your likelihood of having contracted the coronavirus, answer the Coronarisk online questionnaire.


During a quarantine, even without symptoms, following close contact with a positive person

A test is recommended by the MSC on the 7th day of quarantine following close contact with a positive person, even without symptoms. It is important to be aware that one person in five becomes positive during quarantine and it is important to take prompt action to avoid transmission if the test is positive. If the test is negative, the quarantine will be lifted. However, the mask must be worn outside the home and a distance of 1.5m must be maintained until the 10th day of quarantine. 


Following a notification from SwissCovid app

If you are registered with the Swisscovid application, you may receive an alert informing you that you have been in contact with a person who has tested positive, and recommending that you get tested.


Upon the request of the cantonal doctopr's office (SMC) if you are returning from a country with a new and more contagious strain of the disease

A test is recommended on the first day and fifth day of your quarantine if you are returning from the UK, Ireland, South Africa and Brazil.



Tests may also be undertaken outside the cantonal doctor's office's recommendations. In this case, they are subject to a fee. For example :

To shorten the quarantine on return from a state or risk zone (since February 8, 2021, possible lifting of quarantine if negative test on the 7th day).

If you are in quarantine after returning from a trip, it is also possible to perform a test from the 7th day and shorten the quarantine if the test is negative. However, the mask must be worn outside the home and a distance of 1.5m must be kept until the 10th day of quarantine.


In anticipation of a trip abroad

Some airlines or countries require a negative COVID-19 test before boarding and landing in the country. PCR tests are recommended ; however for some countries rapid tests are sufficient. Check the requirements of your airline or country of destination. These tests are taken at the expense of the traveller.


At the request of the employer

Some employers may recommend testing of their employees in order to avoid contamination within the company. This is especially the case in companies or healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes for the elderly or for handicapped persons, in order to stop the chain of transmission as quickly as possible.

Guideline on the use of rapid antigenic tests in private companies (Document in French only)




Dernière modification
10 February 2021
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