3. Why, when and where can one be tested?

Why is getting tested important?

The purpose of screening is to :

  1. Rapidly isolate any sick person to prevent him/her from infecting others.
  2. Quarantine people with whom a sick person may have had close contact and who may have been infected.

This strategy aims to stem the outbreak of new cases and limit the epidemic's relapse during this period of gradual easing of measures.

If the population is not systematically screened at the onset of symptoms, there is a risk that we may have to revert to stricter containment and to a suspension of some activities or a reclosure of certain premises.

When should you get tested?

If you present any acute respiratory symptoms (coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath) with or without fever, with an impression of fever or muscle pain and/or a sudden loss of smell or taste, it is strongly recommended that you undergo a screening test by contacting the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) sampling centre.

Assess your need to undergo a screening test

Before doing a screening, you can also choose to assess your risk level by doing a HUG Coronarisk test. Answer all the questions of the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) Coronarisk test (in French) as accurately as possible. The HUG will then advise you on the appropriate steps to take.

Where can you get tested?


Adult emergencies
9:00-17:30 | 7/7
Directly on the spot.
Direct access, from the outside, entry through the tent located behind the "Morier" building, sector E reserved for people suffering from recently appeared acute respiratory symptoms and fever over 38°.


Cost coverage of the screening test

In order to improve access to screening, the Geneva State Council established the conditions for the reimbursement of the screening test (detection of the virus during the acute phase of the infection) by the canton by decree of 28 May 2020. This effort was backed by the Confederation, which in turn decreed that the screening test would be free of charge. Consequently, since 25 June 2020, the Confederation covers the costs of coronavirus screening for all of the following situations:

  • persons with symptoms compatible with COVID, even mild, in other words, who meet one of the clinical criteria defined by the FOPH;
  • asymptomatic persons who have been notified through the SwissCovid application that they have been in contact with a case of COVID-19;
  • persons who have had close contact with a case of Covid-19, who are symptom-free and in quarantine and whom the cantonal medical service has decided to have tested in order to monitor and control the spread of the virus.

For children under the age of 12, there are exceptions. The need for a screening test should be evaluated by a paediatrician.

Test coverage is free of charge for all persons who meet the above-mentioned criteria, with no deductible part or co-payment. On the other hand, for a person with no symptoms, if and when the request for a screening test is made for travel reasons or at the request of his/her employer, the cost of the screening remains the responsibility of this asymptomatic person.

The cost of diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 is detailed in an information sheet available on the FOPH page and in Ordinance 3 COVID-19 (French or German).

It should also be noted that the costs of serological tests (measuring the level of antibodies in the body) are not covered by the compulsory health insurance or by the canton. The Confederation will only pay for them if they are expressly prescribed by the cantonal doctor.



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