COVID-19 - get tested

2. When should one get tested ?

Testing of symptomatic persons remains essential and is recommended at the slightest suspicion.

Likewise, testing of symptomless persons who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person is strongly recommended, for example during an outbreak in a school or an elderly nursing home, or during quarantine following close contact, and this would also include children.


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.
The cost of the test is covered by the Confederation.


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

Screening is indicated and reimbursed for individuals exposed to COVID-19, whether or not the individual is vaccinated, has a referral for screening, or shows up on their own initiative. 

The cost of the test is covered by the Confederation.


I have been in contact with someone who has become positive but I am not in quarantine, what should I do?

It is recommended to :

  • limit all contacts, cancel or postpone appointments for one week (in your private life as well as in your work place);
  • get tested at the slightest suspicion, at the slightest symptom (the test is free);
  • wear a mask during all contact with others for 7 days after the last contact with the positive tested person and maintain a distance ≥1.5m whenever possible;
  • avoid public places.

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.

The cost of the test is covered by the Confederation.


Upon a specific request of the cantonal doctopr's office (SMC) in order to investigate a case of outbreak of the disease

When several people are infected in the same establishment (a company, a school, an old folks' home, etc.), the SMC can recommend an extended screening in the establishment in order to diagnose an infection, even if there are no symptoms, so as to quickly take all necessary précautions.

The cost of the test is covered by the Confederation.


Screening in professional or educational settings

According to the will of the Federal Council, since 15 March 2021, the canton of Geneva has been supporting the implementation of repetitive screening in professional or training environments. Particular attention is paid to sectors which present a high risk of transmission (places or events where many people are in contact) and/or vulnerability (places where many people vulnerable to Covid-19 are present), where the epidemiological interest of such screening is therefore proven. Repeated screening is therefore particularly recommended in institutions where vulnerable people are present, such as EMS.

The test material and the analysis are reimbursed to the company or institution according to the conditions of the Confederation. More information on Targeted and repetitive testing.
These tests are free of charge for the person tested.

Individual comfort testing

PCR tests for travel purposes are at the expense of the individual. However, rapid antigenic comfort tests will be paid for by the Confederation from 18 December 2021.

Self-tests are at the expense of the individual since 1 October 2021. As a reminder, if the self-test is used in the presence of symptoms in order to have a first result, whether the result is negative or positive, it must be confirmed by a test done in a screening centre, a pharmacy or at the doctor's.

In anticipation of a trip abroad (depending on the requirements of the country of destination or the airline)

Some airlines or countries require a negative COVID-19 test in order to board and land 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.


Dernière modification
31 December 2021
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