COVID-19 certificate

1. Overview

With a COVID certificate (in paper or digital format), a person can demonstrate that he/she is not infectious with SARS-COV-2 - either because he/she is immune (i.e. cured for less than 6 months or fully vaccinated) or because he/she was recently tested negative (less than 72 hours for a PCR test and less than 48 hours for a rapid antigen test).

People who already have a "pass sanitaire" issued in the Schengen area do not need to apply for a COVID certificate. The QR code of their "pass sanitaire" is recognized in Switzerland.

In this leaflet, you will find all the information concerning the issuing of the COVID certificate in the canton of Geneva.


 

See also

FOPH Coronavirus : COVID Certificate

The COVID certificate briefly explained (FOPH film)

 

Do you have a question regarding the COVID certificate?

You may consult the FAQ list or contact the COVID-19 general information ligne (0800 909 400) - free call  - 7/7 - 8h-19h.

From Switzerland: 0800 909 400
From abroad: 41 22 427 8590

2. Scope of the COVID certificate

The COVID certificate is a standardized, reliable, forgery-proof tool, recognized nationally and internationally. It is to be used by people who have been vaccinated, cured or recently tested negative. 
 

1) Scope of the COVID certificate in Switzerland

Since 13th September 2021, in view of the current epidemiological situation and the occupancy of hospital beds, the Federal Council has decided to extend the use of the Covid Certificate.  

Since 1st July 2021, the COVID-19 certificate has been compulsory for major events with 1,000 or more people in clubs, discotheques and dance parties (the so-called red area).

Consult the measures implemented in the canton of Geneva from 13th September.

Covid Certificate Rules regulations
Covid Certificate Rules regulations

Three areas of application for the COVID-19 Certificate in Switzerland as identified by the Federal Council

 

Green area The COVID certificate cannot be requested (areas of everyday life such as public transport, retail outlets, educational premises).

You will not need to present a certificate in the following situations and the general protection plans and prescribed hygiene measures will continue to apply without exception in these places: public transport; retail outlets; private, religious or opinion-forming events; personal services, e.g. hairdressing salons, therapeutic offers; places of work and training (including canteens).


 
Orange area

The COVID certificate can be used as an optional limitation for bars, restaurants, fairs, leisure, sport and entertainment establishments such as theatres, cinemas, casinos, swimming pools, associations. Organisers can request the certificate in order to lighten their sanitary and protection measures.

In heavily attended venues, the COVID certificate should not be required for access as long as the epidemiological situation permits. For these venues, the COVID certificate could be used in the event of a worsening epidemiological situation to avoid closures or capacity restrictions.
 

Red area

The COVID certificate is mandatory for large events, discos and dance events. On the one hand, these situations depend on the policy adopted by other countries (international passenger transport) and, on the other hand, they involve places which, from an epidemiological point of view, are so sensitive that their opening can only be authorised with the use of a COVID certificate.

 

In contrast to the previous section, for large events (>1000 people), clubs, discos and dance events, protection plans and capacity restrictions cannot be completely dispensed with from the outset. 

 

For international passenger transport, see below.

 

More information:

Use of the COVID certificate (FOPH)

 

2) COVID Certificate for travelling abroad

With regards to international passenger transport, the length of time before the COVID certificate is valid and the length of validity of the certificate may depend on the rules in force in the country you intend to travel to as well as the countries through which you may transit.

It is therefore always necessary to find out about the entry conditions in terms of sanitary measures of the country you wish to travel to or transit through.

The Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) tropical medicine and travel unit provide a summary document with the list of country requirements in terms of medical certificates, PCR test, antigen test (RDT), COVID certificates of recovery or Covid vaccination certificates (in French only).

HUG - General information concerning COVID tests: List of countries

See also : European Union information website on the various measures in place in different countries, including on quarantine and testing requirements for travellers.

 

3) The COVID "light" certificate

The "light" version of the Covid certificate is only used in Switzerland. Its existence was imposed by the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner to ensure data minimisation.

Generated by the FOPH's servers in the same way as the basic certificates via the "Covid Cert" application, this version aims to limit the circulation of personal health data associated with the Covid certificate, as it contains only the surname, first name and date of birth of the holder, but no information on the immune status and the way in which the certificate was obtained.

This version may be useful as of 13 September, when the certificate will be requested much more frequently in Switzerland.

 The "light" version can only be used in Switzerland and is valid for 48 hours, due to data protection issues as well as the validity of certificates obtained through negative testing.

How to obtain the "light" version of the COVID Certificate?

  • Open the "Covid Cert" application on your smartphone.
  • Press the QR code of your certificate to access the options.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the screen that displays your QR code again and press the "Certificate light" option.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the explanations for the light version.
  • Press the large blue "Activate" button to generate the light certificate. The certificate appears as a blue (not black) QR code. It contains a 48-hour countdown for the validity of the certificate. When this light certificate has expired, a new one can be generated by repeating the above procedure.
  • To revert to the normal version of the certificate - e.g. for presentation abroad - simply press the red "Deactivate" button (you will have to scroll down to reach this button).
     

 

 4) When can one obtain a COVID certificate?

Depending on the personal situation of each individual (vaccination, cured and documented COVID-19 disease with or without vaccination, negative PCR or antigenic test), the procedure for obtaining a COVID certificate is not the same. In all cases, the COVID certificate is issued free of charge.

People who are vaccinated with a dose of Janssen® vaccine receive a COVID certificate of vaccination which is valid for 22 days after the injection. During this period, they can undergo rapid antigenic tests to obtain a valid COVID certificate. These tests are paid for by the Confederation on presentation, at the screening appointment, of their vaccination certificate.

 COVID certificate diagram (in French only)

Demande de certificat
Demande de certificat

Do you have a question regarding the COVID certificate?

You may consult the FAQ list or contact the COVID-19 general information ligne (0800 909 400) - free call  - 7/7 - 8h-19h.

From Switzerland: 0800 909 400
From abroad: 41 22 427 8590

3. COVID certificate for vaccinated persons

Important
The COVID certificate is personal. When checked, the certificate holder may be asked to prove his or her identity by means of an official identification document with a photo (e.g. an identity card). 

The information on the certificate - surname(s), first name(s), date of birth - should be identical to the information on the identity document.

Upon receipt of your certificate, please check that the data matches.
If such is not the case, a new certificate may be requested.  To obtain a new corrected certificate, you may contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400). 


Please note that a mobile phone is needed to obtain a COVID Certificate through digital means. All persons who does not have access to digital tools (mobile phone, computer and internet tools) and who does not have a close friend or relative with a mobile phone who could help them with their application, may contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400). 

 

For faster processing of applications, people who have received two doses of vaccine can contact the hotline directly (0800 909 400) and not use the e-application form in any of the following situations:
- Error on their COVID certificate
- SMS not received
- Difficulty downloading their certificate to their mobile phone or computer

 

Useful tips to obtain your COVID certificate through digital access

  • In general, it is advisable to carry out the digital procedure for obtaining, downloading and saving your COVID Certificate (PDF format) from a computer.
     
  • People whose mobile phone isn't a smartphone will have to use a computer in order to apply for, download and save the COVID Certificate (PDF format). 
    • To access the online form on your computer, you may simply copy the link received by SMS into the browser window on the computer. (In the web link you will copy, there are no letters "O" or "o", only zeros).
       
  • To safeguard your COVID certificate, as soon as it appears on your computer smartphone screen, it is recommended that you immediately save the COVID certificate file on your computer or your smartphone. You can also make a screenshot.

    • COVID certificates (your personal certificate or that of your relatives) can then be printed out in hard copy.

    • They can also be stored in your mobile phone by means of a smartphone application that you have to download. The "COVID Certificate" application is available free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
      (Not to be confused with the "COVID Certificate Check" application which is used to check certificates and can also be downloaded).

  • You may now download a vaccination certificate as many times as you like to your smartphone or computer, from the URL link and the six-digit code that were sent by SMS. It is therefore recommended that you keep both SMS messages (the one with the code and the one with the download link).
     
  • Consult the illustrated step by step guideline to fill in the COVID certificate (federal) application form and download your certificat either on a SmartPhone, or on your computer.

 

COVID certificates are issued free of charge to vaccinated persons according to various schemes :

Persons fully vaccinated before 21st June

People, who are fully vaccinated between 28th December and 20th June inclusive (either a single dose following a COVID illness documented by a PCR or antigenic test(1); or two vaccine doses), may obtain their COVID certificate via a series of SMS(2)  sent by the federal and cantonal health authorities, the sequence of which is presented hereafter.


(1) Persons who received only one vaccine dose as a result of an infection previously confirmed by serology are not concerned by the below listed sequence. They may apply online for a certificate by using the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch. 

(2) People who did not fill in a mobile phone number or did not fill it in correctly when they registered for the vaccination, or who have cancelled their mobile phone subscription or changed their mobile phone number, may apply online for a certificate by using the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch. 
 


Sequence of the digital process
If you do not receive any of the SMS messages below, or if the process was interrupted for no reason, we invite you to contact the COVID-19 general information line (0800 909 400).

First control SMS on 8th June sent by the Geneva Health Directorate (Direction générale de la santé - Etat de Genève) to fully vaccinated people who provided a mobile phone number when registering or being vaccinated (or when processing the application for a friend or relative (3) ).

(3) For more information regarding COVID certificate applications on behalf of family members or friends, you may check the FAQ list.  

If you are fully vaccinated before 21st June and you did not receive this SMS, you may apply online for a certificate by using the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch. 


 

Second SMS sent between the 8th June and the 22th June from a transmitter managed by the Geneva University Hospitals (@hcuge.ch) containing an internet link to apply online for a COVID certificate. 
The registration form can be filled in using a smartphone or a simple mobile phone without an interactive screen and a computer. 

  1. People with a smartphone may directly activate the web link to this form on their mobile phone.
  2. People who do not have a mobile phone with an interactive screen (smartphone type) may copy the link received by SMS into the web browser window on a computer and complete the registration form online.

There is no deadline for activating this web link. It remains valid as long as it has not been activated and the application form for a COVID certificate has not been completed and validated.

Important
As the demand to access the form is sometimes overloaded, it can happen that when you activate your web  link, it blocks and displays messages such as "Error", "Bad Gateway", "Invalid response". If such is the case, we invite you to try reconnecting later.

 


Third SMS sent from the HUG (@hcuge.ch), shortly after having activated the web link contained in the second SMS and having completed the registration form. This SMS contains a six digit code which must be carefully stored as it will be requested later to obtain the certificate. Don't hesitate to write down this code on paper or do a print screen.


 

Fourth SMS sent as of the 21st June containing a web link to the federal platform where people will be invited to provide the six digit code in order to obtain their certificate. This leads to the actual delivery of these COVID certificates as of the 21st June. Please keep this web link if you wish to download your certificate more than once.

 

Persons fully vaccinated as from 21st June

  1. Two doses of vaccine 
    People vaccinated from 21st June with two doses of vaccine will receive their COVID certificate from their vaccination centre, either digitally in PDF format, or in paper form.
     
  2. One dose of vaccine
  • People who receive only one dose of vaccine because of a previous infection documented by a PCR test may able apply online for a certificate by filling in the online application federal form
     
  • Persons who receive only one dose of vaccine because of a previous infection documented by serology (blood test) may apply online for a certificate by using the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch. 
     
  • People who receive only one dose of vaccine due to a previous infection documented by a rapid antigen test will obtain their COVID certificate digitally. They will receive an SMS within a week of their vaccination (the digital process to obtain a COVID certificate is the same as for fully vaccinated people before 21st June). If you have not received this SMS after one week, you can apply online for a certificate by using the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch.
     

 


Do you have any questions regarding the COVID certificate?

You may consult the FAQ list or contact the COVID-19 general information ligne (0800 909 400) - free call  - 7/7 - 8h-19h

From Switzerland: 0800 909 400
From abroad: 41 22 427 8590

 

4. COVID certificate for healed persons

Important
The COVID certificate is personal. When checked, the certificate holder may be asked to prove his or her identity by means of an official identification document with a photo (e.g. an identity card). The information on the certificate - surname(s), first name(s), date of birth - should be identical to the information on the identity document.

Upon receipt of your certificate, please check that the data matches.
If such is not the case, a new certificate may be requested.  To obtain a new, corrected certificate, you can apply online, by filling in the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form.

 

Depending on the diagnosis context, the process to obtain a COVID certificate is not the same. In all cases, the COVID certificate is issued free of charge.

Serology / Blood test

You have had a blood test (serology) to see if you have had COVID. The result was positive.

At least 2 weeks after the blood test, you received 1 dose of vaccine.

You may apply online to request your COVID certificate by filling in the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form.

The certificate is valid for 12 months from the day of vaccination.

 

Positive rapid antigen test

You are cured of COVID-19. Your disease has been confirmed by a positive result of a rapid antigen test (done by a professional with a result within 30 minutes).

You have received 1 dose of vaccine at least 28 days after the test.

You can request your COVID certificate with the SMS that you will automatically receive in the week following the vaccination.

The certificate is valid for 12 months from the day of vaccination.

If you have not received this SMS 7 days after your vaccination, you may apply online to request your COVID certificate by filling in the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form.

 

 

Positive PCR test

You are cured of COVID-19. Your illness has been confirmed by a positive PCR test result (done by a professional with a result taking several hours).

  • If you were ill less than 6 months ago, then you do not need to be vaccinated to receive the COVID certificate. You can apply online for a COVID certificate by filling in the online application federal form
    The certificate is valid for 6 months as from the 11th day after the test date (positive result).
     
  • If you have received 1 dose of vaccine at least 28 days after the test, you can request your COVID certificate by activating the internet link sent with the SMS that you will automatically receive in the week following the vaccination. For the procedure, please refer to the COVID certificate for vaccinated persons leaflet.
    The certificate is valid for 12 months from the day of vaccination.

    If you did not received an SMS 7 days after your vaccination, you may apply online to request your COVID certificate by filling in the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form

 

 

People currently suffering from COVID-19 and undergoing treatment will be able to request a COVID certificate once they have recovered following the above listed steps. 

 

For people who do not have a mobile phone or access to digital tools: A mobile phone is required to use the COVID Certificate e-start form. People who does not have access to digital tools (mobile phone, computer and internet tools) and who does not have a close relative with a mobile phone who could help him/her with the process, can contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400). However, due to the large number of calls, the processing of COVID certificate applications by the hotline may take some time.

 

Do you have a question regarding the COVID certificate?

You may consult the FAQ list or contactCOVID-19 general information ligne (0800 909 400) - free call  - 7/7 - 8h-19h.

From Switzerland: 0800 909 400
From abroad: 41 22 427 8590

5. COVID certificate for negative tested persons

Important
Please note that as of Monday 11 October 2021, COVID certificates will no longer be issued to persons who undergo "targeted and repetitive tests."

See also (in French) : decree of the Council of State of 8 October 2021 modifying the decree of 1 November 2020.
 

Testing centers, laboratories, pharmacies may issue COVID certificates for persons who have tested negative for COVID-19 (PCR test or rapid antigen test). Since August 5, 2021, primary care physicians can also issue COVID certificates only for the rapid antigen tests they perform. In all cases, the COVID certificate is issued free of charge.

No COVID certificates are issued for self-tests.

 

1) Negative PCR Test

Persons who have tested negative for a PCR test will receive their COVID certificate by email directly from the laboratory. They may then download the test on their mobile phone via the "COVID Certificate" application.

The certificate is valid for 72 hours.

 

2) Negative rapid antigen test

For persons who have tested negative for a rapid antigen test, a COVID certificate will be issued and handed out on site in the testing facilities (i.e. in some pharmacies, laboratories, primary care physicians offering these tests and in the testing centers). People may then download the test on their mobile phone via the "COVID Certificate" application.

The certificate is valid for 48 hours.

 

Important
The COVID certificate is personal. When checked, the certificate holder may be asked to prove his or her identity by means of an official identification document with a photo (e.g. an identity card). The information on the certificate - surname(s), first name(s), date of birth - should be identical to the information on the identity document. 

Upon receipt of your certificate, please check that the data matches.
If such is not the case, we invite you to contact the laboratory or testing facility who delivered your certificate.

 


Which test do you need if you are travelling?
With regards to international passenger transport, the length of time before the COVID certificate is valid and the length of validity of the certificate may depend on the rules in force in the country you intend to travel to as well as the countries through which you may transit.

It is therefore always necessary to find out about the entry conditions in terms of sanitary measures of the country you wish to travel to or transit through.

The Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) tropical medicine and travel unit provide a summary document with the list of country requirements in terms of medical certificates, PCR test, antigen test (RDT), COVID certificates of recovery or Covid vaccination certificates (in French only).

HUG - General information concerning COVID tests: List of countries

See also : European Union information website on the various measures in place in different countries, including on quarantine and testing requirements for travellers.


 

Do you have any questions regarding the COVID certificate?

You may consult the FAQ list or contact the COVID-19 general information ligne (0800 909 400) - free call  - 7/7 - 8h-19h

From Switzerland: 0800 909 400
From abroad: 41 22 427 8590

 

6. COVID Certificates e-démarches application form

For optimal use of the application, it is advisable to choose an up-to-date browser.

In some cases, in order to obtain a COVID certificate, it will be necessary to fill in an online e-démarches application form.

After a vaccination, when can you request a COVID certificate via the e-démarches application form?

1) You are fully* vaccinated before June 21st in a vaccination centre in Geneva and have not obtained your COVID certificate
*Vaccination 2 doses or Cured + 1 dose
 

You did not obtain your COVID certificate via the federal system because there was a problem with the dispatch or management of the SMS containing the links to access and complete the federal application form.

This may be due to the following reasons:

  • You gave a mobile phone number but: 
    • The mobile phone number registered was wrong.
    • You have changed your mobile phone number since you registered and therefore have not received the SMS messages.
    • You have lost your mobile phone.
    • You didn't receive any or all of the SMS messages containing the links to obtain your certificate.
    • You had a problem with your online application which resulted in the system being blocked (e.g. you entered your date of birth incorrectly and the system locked or you entered your six-digit secret code incorrectly and the system locked after 5 unsuccessful attempts.
If you have a mobile phone but you deleted the SMS containing the 6-digit code required to finalise your application for a COVID certificate, please contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400).*
  • You did not have a mobile phone when you registered or were vaccinated and:

    • The person who registered you with his or her mobile phone number had problems when trying to obtain your certificate.

 

2) You are fully* vaccinated before June 21st in a vaccination centre in Geneva and you received a certificate with errors
* Vaccination 2 doses or Cured + 1 dose
 

You received your COVID certificate but you would like to have it corrected because it contains false data: 

  • The personal data (surname/first name/date of birth) on your COVID certificate do not match the data on your identity document.
  • There is a mistake in the vaccine data (type of vaccine or vaccination dates) on your COVID certificate.

NOTE: The Comirnaty® vaccine is the one manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech. The COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® is the one manufactured by the company Moderna.

For faster processing of applications, people who have received two doses of vaccine can contact the hotline directly (0800 909 400) and not use the e-application form in any of the following situations:
- Error on their COVID certificate
- SMS not received
- Difficulty downloading their certificate to their mobile phone or computer

 

3) You were cured + vaccinated with 1 dose in a vaccination centre in Geneva after June 20th and you did not receive an SMS automatically transmitted in the following week containing the COVID certificate.
 

4) Regardless of the date on which you were vaccinated, you fall into one of the following categories:
  • You were vaccinated outside the canton of Geneva (1st dose or both doses)
  • You were vaccinated in a health institution (for example: EMS, EPH, etc.) or by an imad staff member (medical home care)
  • You are a health professional and have been vaccinated at work.

 

5) You were entirely or partly vaccinated abroad and/or you have a foreign COVID certificate

Full information in the leaflet FAQ - Adminstrative procedures to obtain a COVID certificate.

Following a recovery, when can you request a COVID certificate via the e-démarches application form?

  • You have been cured since less than 6 months and have performed a positive PCR test since less than 180 days abroad.

  • You have tried to apply via the federal form but the federal authorities have sent you a message asking you to contact your canton (e-démarches COVID certificates) because they were missing data or there was an error in your personal data.

  • You have received your COVID certificate but the personal data on your COVID certificate issued directly by the Confederation does not match the data on your identity card and you need a correction.

As of 5 July, in the event of incorrect data, you may also contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400)* directly to obtain a rectification.

 

In which cases is it not possible to obtain a COVID certificate using the e-démarches application form?


You shouldn't fill in the COVID Certificate e-démarches application form to obtain your COVID certificate in the following cases: 

1) If you don't have acess to a mobile phone - in which case, you should contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400).*

2) Following a negative PCR or antigenic test: you should contact your testing centre or laboratory.

  • Following your test, the testing centre or analysis laboratory will issue your certificate.
    • If there is an error in the personal data (name/first name/date of birth) on the COVID certificate issued by the testing centre or analysis laboratory, please contact them directly.
    • If there is an error in the test data (type or dates of test) on the COVID certificate issued by the test centre or laboratory, please contact them directly.

3) If you have received both your vaccine doses in the canton of Geneva, and the second dose was administered after 21 June, you should contact your vaccination centre to obtain your certificate.

4) If you have had a positive PCR test in Switzerland within the last 6 months and wish to obtain a COVID certificate as a cured person, you must first complete the application form available on the FOPH website 

  • If this application is refused, you can then apply for a certificate using the e-démarches application form.

 

 


Important
The COVID certificate is personal. When checked, the certificate holder may be asked to prove his or her identity by means of an official identification document with a photo (e.g. an identity card). 

The information on the certificate - surname(s), first name(s), date of birth - should be identical to the information on the identity document.

Upon receipt of your certificate, please check that the data matches. If such is not the case, a new certificate may be requested.  To obtain a new corrected certificate, you may contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400).

 

A mobile phone is required to use the e-démarche application form. 
All persons who do not have access to digital tools (mobile phone, computer and internet tools) and who do not have a close relative with a mobile phone who could help them with their application, can contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400). However, due to the large number of calls, the processing of COVID certificate applications by the helpline may take some time. We thank you for your patience.

 

*Do you have a question regarding the COVID certificate?

You may consult the FAQ list or contact the COVID-19 general information ligne (0800 909 400) - free call  - 7/7 - 8h-19h.

From Switzerland: 0800 909 400
From abroad: 41 22 427 8590

7. FAQ on the COVID certificate

The following frequently asked questions will be regularly updated and completed. 

COVID Certificate - in general

What does the COVID certificate look like?

The COVID certificate consists of a QR code generated by the Confederation, with the consent of the person concerned, and issued at cantonal level by the competent authorities (e.g. vaccination centres for persons vaccinated from 21 June onwards; testing centres, analysis laboratories etc.).

Depending on the case, the COVID certificate can be issued either in PDF format by digital means or in paper format.

  • In addition to the surname, first name, date of birth and a certificate number, the COVID certificate in paper form contains information on the COVID-19 vaccination, the illness recovery or the negative result of a PCR test or a rapid antigen test. The QR code is the central element of the COVID certificate. An electronic signature of the Swiss Confederation makes it unforgeable and guarantees the authenticity of the document.
     
  • The digital version of the COVID certificate can be used via the "COVID Certificate" application, which you can download free of charge from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. All you have to do is scan the QR code of your COVID certificate with the application and save it on your phone. No data is saved in a centralised system.

You will be able to store multiple certificates in the COVID Certificate application, (e.g. multiple negative test results but also certificates of family members). The application will also inform you about the validity of your certificate and its expiry date in Switzerland.

To present the certificate, you can either use the paper document or the QR code on your phone.

Caution
In general, when inspected, your COVID certificate is only valid if it is presented together with your identity document. The information (surname and first name) on the COVID certificate must be identical to that on your identity document.
We invite you to check that these data match upon receipt of your certificate and to report any necessary corrections to the authority issuing your certificate.

 

What is the COVID "light" certificate?

The "light" version of the Covid certificate is only used in Switzerland. Its existence was imposed by the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner to ensure data minimisation.

Generated by the FOPH's servers in the same way as the basic certificates via the "Covid Cert" application, this version aims to limit the circulation of personal health data associated with the Covid certificate, as it contains only the surname, first name and date of birth of the holder, but no information regarding the immune status and the way in which the certificate was obtained.

This version may be useful as of 13 September, when the certificate will be requested much more frequently in Switzerland.

 The "light" version may only be used in Switzerland and is valid for 48 hours, due to data protection issues as well as the validity of certificates obtained through negative testing.

How to use it

  • Open the "Covid Cert" application on your smartphone.
  • Press the QR code of your certificate to access the options.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the screen that displays your QR code again and press the "Certificate light" option.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the explanations regarding the light version.
  • Press the large blue "Activate" button to generate the light certificate. The certificate appears as a blue (not black) QR code. It contains a 48-hour countdown for the validity of the certificate. When this light certificate has expired, a new one can be generated by repeating the above procedure.
  • To revert to the normal version of the certificate - e.g. for presentation abroad - simply press the red "Deactivate" button (you will have to scroll down to reach this button).

 

What is the validity length of my COVID certificate?

It depends on how you obtained it:

  • After a vaccination: valid for 12  months* (365 days following the administration of the last dose of vaccine, as per the FOPH decision of 22nd June 2021)
  • After a cured COVID-19: valid for 6 months* (please note that the validity of the certificate starts on the 11th day after the positive test result and lasts 180 days following the test result).
  • With a negative PCR test: valid 72 hours starting from the time of sample collection
  • With an antigenic (rapid) test: valid 48 hours starting from the time of sample collection (please note that it is not necessarily recognised everywhere outside Switzerland).

* The time frames related to vaccination or to post COVID recovery may change (i.e. be extended) depending on the state of knowledge about the duration of immunity and the standards required by the European Union. In this case, you will not need to do anything as the extension will be implemented automatically and will be displayed on the QR code.
 

 


Administrative procedures to obtain a COVID certificate

How does one obtain a COVID certificate?

There are three types of COVID certificates: 

 

Vaccination

Cured COVID illness

Negative test

Conditions

Vaccination with two doses, or

documented infection* and

one vaccine dose

Positive PCR test

Negative PCR test or negative

antigen test

Validity period

365 days

180 days

72 hours (48 hours for antigen test)

Beginning of validity

From the 2nd dose (or single dose)

11 days after the test

Time of sample collection

* By a PCR test, an antigen test or a positive serology

Depending on the context (following vaccination, following a cured COVID illness of less than 6 months and documented by a PCR test, or following a negative PCR or antigenic test), the procedure to obtain a COVID certificate will not be the same.

You will find on this website, the details for each step.

Vaccination in Geneva: How to obtain a COVID certificate?

Consult the Summary chart - How to obtain a COVID certificate in the canton of Geneva in the case of vaccination
 


Important
The COVID certificate is personal. When checked, the certificate holder may be asked to prove his or her identity by means of an official identification document with a photo (e.g. an identity card). 

The information on the certificate - surname(s), first name(s), date of birth - should be identical to the information on the identity document.

  • When registering for vaccination or applying for a certificate (e-démarches), we ask you to provide the same personal details as on your identity documents. 
  • Upon receipt of your certificate, please check that the data matches. If such is not the case, a new certificate may be requested.  To obtain a new corrected certificate, you may get advice directly from the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400).
     

Vaccination abroad: How to obtain a Swiss COVID certificate ?

Consult the Summary chart - How to obtain a COVID certificate in the canton of Geneva in the case of vaccination.

  • People fully vaccinated abroad and who have a digital COVID certificate from the European Union (issued by the EU and EFTA member states) don't need to apply for a Swiss COVID certificate because their certificate is recognised in all venues that require a COVID certificate in Switzerland.
     
  • As from 18 October, fully vaccinated persons outside the Schengen area who are living in, visiting or planning to visit Switzerland and who meet the criteria in the summary table can apply for a Swiss COVID certificate by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch. They will have to provide proof of vaccination, proof of residence in Switzerland and attach an identity document to their application. 

    Meanwhile, and until 24 October 2021, foreign vaccination certificates mentioning vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are valid in Switzerland for access to facilities or events requiring a COVID certificate. Proof of vaccination must be presented in one of the official Swiss languages or in English translation.

 See also: FOPH website - Coronavirus: where and how to get a COVID certificate and how long it is valid

 


Important
The COVID certificate is personal. When checked, the certificate holder may be asked to prove his or her identity by means of an official identification document with a photo (e.g. an identity card). 

The information on the certificate - surname(s), first name(s), date of birth - should be identical to the information on the identity document.

  • When registering for vaccination or applying for a certificate (e-démarches), we ask you to provide the same personal details as on your identity documents. 
  • Upon receipt of your certificate, please check that the data matches. If such is not the case, a new certificate may be requested.  To obtain a new corrected certificate, you may get advice directly from the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400).

 

Vaccination carried out partly abroad and partly in Switzerland: How to obtain a COVID certificate in Switzerland?

Consult the Summary chart - How to obtain a COVID certificate in the canton of Geneva in the case of vaccination

See also: FOPH website - Coronavirus: where and how to get a COVID certificate and how long it is valid

 


Important
The COVID certificate is personal. When checked, the certificate holder may be asked to prove his or her identity by means of an official identification document with a photo (e.g. an identity card). 

The information on the certificate - surname(s), first name(s), date of birth - should be identical to the information on the identity document.

  • When registering for vaccination or applying for a certificate (e-démarches), we ask you to provide the same personal details as on your identity documents. 
  • Upon receipt of your certificate, please check that the data matches. If such is not the case, a new certificate may be requested.  To obtain a new corrected certificate, you may contact the COVID-19 General information line (0800 909 400).
     

 


Practical aspects for registering and obtaining a COVID certificate

How do I register a COVID certificate on my smartphone or my computer?

For vaccinated persons who receive their certificate digitally, it is advisable to carry out the procedure on a computer. This procedure allows you to obtain the certificate in PDF format.

To receive your certificate in PDF format via a mobile phone or computer (through a series of 4 SMS messages sent by the cantonal and federal health authorities), you can consult the tutorial below which provides step by step information on how to download the COVID certificate and save it as a file on your mobile phone or computer.

Consult the step by step instructions document 

It is now possible to download a vaccination certificate as many times as you like to your smartphone or computer, from the URL link and the six-digit code that were sent by SMS. It is therefore recommended that you keep both SMS messages (the one with the six digit code and the one with the download link).

Useful tip: 
For people who do not have a smartphone or are not familiar with smartphones, it is advisable to download and save the COVID Certificate (PDF format) from their computer. To access the online form, simply copy the link received by SMS into the browser window on the computer. (There are no letters "O" or "o" in these codes, only zeros).


In addition to saving the pdf file on your computer or smartphone or making a paper printout of your certificate, you can also register your certificate via the Covid Certificate APP.

Important
In the context of COVID-19 vaccination and COVID certificates, the canton does not use Twitter or WhatsApp accounts.

 

For faster processing of applications, people who have received two doses of vaccine can contact the hotline directly (0800 909 400) and not use the e-application form in any of the following situations:
- Error on their COVID certificate
- SMS not received
- Difficulty downloading their certificate to their mobile phone or computer

 

How do I download the COVID certificate application in order to register my certificate on my mobile phone?

Certificats COVID APP
Certificats COVID APP

 

There are two applications available:

 
  1. The "COVID Certificate" application allows people to store their COVID certificate (and those of their relatives) on their mobile phone.
  2. The "COVID Certificate Check" application is used to check the authenticity and validity of a COVID certificate. It scans the QR code on the paper certificate or on a mobile phone.

Both APPs are available for free on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

There is another application "COVID Certificate Check" which is used to check certificates. It can also be downloaded.
 

I received a digit code by SMS after having registered for a COVID certificate. What must I do with it?

In certain contexts, this code is necessary to obtain your COVID certificate.

You must save this code because you will need to use it when the link to download (as many times as you need) your certificate is sent to you by SMS. Without this code, you will not be able to access your certificate once it has been issued by the Confederation. 

This code allows the issuing authorities to ensure that the person downloading the certificate is the person who requested it when filling in the online form.

It is now possible to download a vaccination certificate as many times as you like to your smartphone or computer, from the URL link and the six-digit code that were sent by SMS. It is therefore recommended that you keep both SMS messages (the one with the six digit code and the one with the download link).

Important
In the context of COVID-19 vaccination and COVID certificates, the canton does not use Twitter or WhatsApp accounts.

 

I don't have a mobile phone. A family member signed me up for vaccination. How must I obtain my COVID certificate?

You should inform your relative that he/she will receive an SMS which is addressed to you by name as it concerns your COVID certificate.

If you wish to obtain your certificate, you must tell your relative that you authorise him/her to register on line requesting to be sent the COVID certificate on your behalf, as you are informed of the process underway. 

After this confirmation, your relative will also receive the secret code by SMS, which he or she should keep carefully. This code will be used to download the digital copy of your COVID certificate that will be sent to your relative afterwards by means of another SMS.

If this code is lost, your relative will not be able to access your COVID certificate.

Once your relative has received the digital copy of your COVID certificate, he or she will be able to print out a paper copy and give it to you.

We thank all helpers, friend and family members for their kind assistance!
 

I signed up one or many close relatives or friends for vaccination using my mobile phone. What must I do with all the SMS that I receive?

If you used your mobile phone to register yourself and other people for vaccination, you will receive several SMS messages  - one SMS message per COVID certificate for each of these people and for yourself. Each SMS will give access to a different registration form for each certificate.

We would be grateful if you could contact your family member(s) and/or friends to inform them of the current process. If these persons wish to receive their COVID certificate, it is up to you to ensure the necessary follow-up by registering them on their behalf. 

After this registration, it will also be you who will receive the secret 6 digit code(s) by SMS - one per person vaccinated - which you should keep carefully. Each code will be used to download the digital copy of each COVID certificate that you will receive by means of a fourth SMS sent to you by the authorities. 

Once you have received the digital copies of the COVID certificates, you can print out paper copies and pass them on to your relatives or friends as soon as possible.

Please note that it is now possible to download a vaccination certificate as many times as you like to your smartphone or computer, from the URL link and the six-digit code that were sent by SMS. It is therefore recommended that you keep both SMS messages (the one with the six digit code and the one with the download link).

Thank you very much for your help!

 

My mobile phone isn't a smartphone and it doesn't have an interactive screen. Will I still be able to receive my COVID certificate?

Yes, all you have to do is copy the web link received in the SMS into the internet browser window on a computer. The form to apply for the COVID certificate is available online. 

The six-digit secret code will also be sent to you by SMS. You will have to keep it carefully until you receive the last SMS with the web link allowing you to download your certificate. Again, you can copy this web link into the internet browser window on a computer. The certificate will be available online.

Please note that it is now possible to download a vaccination certificate as many times as you like to your smartphone or computer, from the URL link and the six-digit code that were sent by SMS. It is therefore recommended that you keep both SMS messages (the one with the six digit code and the one with the download link).

Important
In the context of COVID-19 vaccination and COVID certificates, the canton does not use Twitter or WhatsApp accounts.

 

For faster processing of applications, people who have received two doses of vaccine can contact the hotline directly (0800 909 400) and not use the e-application form in any of the following situations:
- Error on their COVID certificate
- SMS not received
- Difficulty downloading their certificate to their mobile phone or computer

 

Can I store my spouse's COVID certificate on my mobile phone?

Yes, it is perfectly possible to download several certificates, for example, the certificates of a spouse or children, and to keep them at hand on a single cell phone. The "COVID Certificate" application which allows this operation is available free of charge on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
 

I was vaccinated in a pharmacy. How may I obtain my COVID certificate?

If you provided a mobile phone number, you will receive an SMS inviting you to obtain a certificate.

If you did not provide a mobile phone number when you were vaccinated, but you do have access to a mobile phone, you may apply for a certificate online, by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch.

Please note that a mobile phone is required to use the online COVID Certificate e-démarches form. 
Person who does not have access to digital tools (mobile phone, computer and internet tools) and who does not have a close relative with a mobile phone who could help him/her with the process, can contact the COVID-19 General Information Line (0800 909 400). 

Important
In the context of COVID-19 vaccination and COVID certificates, the canton does not use Twitter or WhatsApp accounts.

 

 


Frequently met problems  

There is a mistake in my name on my COVID certificate? What must I do?

The COVID certificate is personal. When checked, the certificate holder may be asked to prove his or her identity by means of an official identification document with a photo (e.g. an identity card). 

The information on the certificate - surname(s), first name(s), date of birth - should be identical to the information on the identity document.

Upon receipt of your certificate, please check that the data matches. If such is not the case, a new certificate may be requested.  

  • For a test certificate: please report any necessary corrections to the authority who issued your certificate.
  • For a vaccination* or a post-cure certificate: to obtain a new, corrected certificate, you can apply online, by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch.

For faster processing of applications, people who have received two doses of vaccine can contact the hotline directly (0800 909 400) and not use the e-application form in any of the following situations:
- Error on their COVID certificate
- SMS not received
- Difficulty downloading their certificate to their mobile phone or computer

 

I lost my mobile phone with my COVID certificate, and I don't have a paper version of this COVID certificate?

If you lose your mobile phone where you stored your certificate using the « COVID Certificate Check », or the  « COVID Certificate » application, and if you don't have a paper document, you can obtain a duplicate in the following way:

  • For the vaccination certificate, you can apply for a new certificate online, by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch

    Please note that a mobile phone is required to use the online COVID Certificate e-démarches form. 
    Person who does not have access to digital tools (mobile phone, computer and internet tools) and who does not have a close relative with a mobile phone who could help him/her with the process, can contact the COVID-19 General Information Line (0800 909 400). 
  • For the certificate of recovery (cured persons), you might have to make a new request via the Confederation's form or by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch.
  • For the test certificate, it is possible to request a copy from the institution where you were tested.
     

I didn't mention a mobile phone number when I registered for vaccination. Can I still receive a COVID Certificate?

Yes, if you have access to a mobile phone, you may fill in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch.

Please note that a mobile phone is required to use the online COVID Certificate e-démarches form. 
Person who does not have access to digital tools (mobile phone, computer and internet tools) and who does not have a close relative with a mobile phone who could help him/her with the process, can contact the COVID-19 General Information Line (0800 909 400). 

Important
In the context of COVID-19 vaccination and COVID certificates, the canton does not use Twitter or WhatsApp accounts.

 

I changed my mobile phone number since I registered for vaccination. What should I do?

You may fill in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch

Please note that a mobile phone is required to use the online COVID Certificate e-démarches form. 
Person who does not have access to digital tools (mobile phone, computer and internet tools) and who does not have a close relative with a mobile phone who could help him/her with the process, can contact the COVID-19 General Information Line (0800 909 400). 

Important
In the context of COVID-19 vaccination and COVID certificates, the canton does not use Twitter or WhatsApp accounts.

 

On the application form, the date of birth displayed was wrong by one day. What can be done about this?

Situations involving a date of birth that was wrong by +/- 1 day have been reported in the summary application data for several individuals and this gap issue has been addressed. The display error does not affect the certificate which contains the correct date of birth. 

If you encounter this situation, you should confirm that the information is accurate and download the certificate as if the date was right. When you receive your certificate, it should contain the correct date of birth. If this is not the case, to obtain a new, corrected certificate, you can apply online by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch.

For faster processing of applications, people who have received two doses of vaccine can contact the hotline directly (0800 909 400) and not use the e-application form in any of the following situations:
- Error on their COVID certificate
- SMS not received
- Difficulty downloading their certificate to their mobile phone or computer

 

The validity of my certificate indicates "expired" despite the fact I was vaccinated less than a year ago. What should I do?

Following the FOPH's decision on 22nd June to extend the validity of the COVID-19 vaccination (Moderna or Pfizer) from 6 months to one year, the Swiss COVID Cert applications have been updated. If your certificate indicates "expired", this may be due to the fact that you don't have the latest version of the COVID Cert application and you need to update the application in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store accessible on your mobile phone screen.

 


COVID Certificate and travel 

Where shall I be able to travel with my COVID certificate?

The Swiss COVID certificate is internationally compatible with the digital certificate developed by the European Union, which has officially recognised the Swiss COVID certificate as equivalent since the 9th July.

However, a COVID certificate is not a guarantee for entry into other countries, as each state may enact and adapt its own entry regulations according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation. This is why the COVID certificate states: "This certificate is not a travel document / Le présent certificat n'est pas un document de voyage."

As far as its use in the European Union (EU) and the Schengen area is concerned, just like the digital  certificate issued in Europe, the COVID certificate should facilitate the free circulation of persons in the EU and the Schengen area, but it will not be a condition for free circulation. Border crossings will ultimately depend on each state.

If you are travelling abroad, you should find out about the health requirements of the country you intend to visit and - if applicable - of the transit countries if you are travelling by land.

See also :

 

I intend travelling with my family during the holidays. Will my certificate cover my children?

No. The certificate applies on an individual basis only. You should check with your travel agent or the appropriate authorities of the country you intend to visit to find out how children and young people can enter their territory.
 

As from when will my COVID certificate be valid to travel?

The COVID certificate is valid as soon as it is issued. The obligation to present it for travel depends on each country.

The recognition of the Swiss COVID certificate, the period of time before the COVID certificate is valid and the length of validity of the certificate may all depend on the rules in force in the country you intend to visit. It is therefore necessary to find out about each State entry conditions in terms of sanitary measures applicable in the country you wish to travel to and also in all countries of transit.

See also :

 

Does my COVID certificate allow me to return to Switzerland without restrictions after a trip abroad?

Persons with a COVID certificate issued after vaccination or being cured from a COVID-19 infectin are exempt from travel quarantine and other border health measures.

See also:
COVID-19 - Travelling and quarantine
FOPH website Coronavirus- Entering in Switzerland.

 

 


 Gateways to the COVID certificate

I underwent a blood test (serology), the result is positive for COVID-19. How can I obtain a certificate?

There are two ways to apply for a COVID certificate:

  1. You wish to be vaccinated or you have received 1 dose of vaccine at least 14 days after the blood test (serology). You may apply for your certificate by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch. This certificate is valid from the day of vaccination for 12 months.
  2. If you do not want to be vaccinated, you can request a COVID certificate following a negative test result. A professional at the place where the test is carried out (screening centre, laboratory or pharmacy) will issue your certificate on the spot.
  • With a rapid antigen test (performed by a professional with a result within 30 minutes), the certificate is valid for 48 hours.
  • With a PCR test (done by a professional with a result taking several hours), the certificate is valid for 72 hours.

 

I am cured of COVID-19, tested with a rapid antigen test (performed by a professional with the result in 30 minutes). How can I get a certificate?

There are two ways to apply for a COVID certificate:

  1. You wish to be vaccinated or you have received 1 dose of vaccine at least 28 days after the test date. To apply for a COVID certificate, you will receive an SMS within a week after the vaccination. If you still have not received an SMS 7 days after your vaccination, you may apply for your certificate by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch. This certificate is valid from the day of vaccination for 12 months.
  2. If you do not want to be vaccinated, you can request a COVID certificate following a negative test result. A professional at the place where the test is carried out (screening centre, laboratory or pharmacy) will issue the certificate on the spot.
  • With a rapid antigen test (performed by a professional with a result within 30 minutes), the certificate is valid for 48 hours.
  • With a PCR test (done by a professional with a result taking several hours), the certificate is valid for 72 hours.

 

I am cured of COVID-19, tested with a PCR test (performed by a professional with the result in several hours). How can I get a certificate?

There are different ways to apply for a COVID certificate:

  1. You were ill less than 6 months ago. You do not need to be vaccinated to receive a COVID certificate. You can apply for a COVID certificate on the FOPH website. The certificate is valid from the 11th day after the test date (positive result) for 6 months.
  2. You wish to be vaccinated or you have received 1 dose of vaccine at least 28 days after the test date. To apply for the COVID certificate, you will receive an SMS within a week after the vaccination. If you still have not received an SMS 7 days after your vaccination, you may apply for your certificate by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch. The certificate is valid from the day of vaccination for 12 months.
  3. You were ill more than 6 months ago and do not want to be vaccinated. You can request a COVID certificate following a negative test result. A professional at the place where the test is carried out (screening centre, laboratory or pharmacy) will issue the certificate on the spot.
  • With a rapid antigen test (done by a professional with a result within 30 minutes), the certificate is valid for 48 hours.
  • With a PCR test (done by a professional with a result taking several hours), the certificate is valid for 72 hours.

 

Can I receive a COVID certificate if the mimimum time interval between my two vaccines wasn't met?

Having received 2 doses of vaccine within 21 days or less for Pfizer and 28 days or less for Moderna is too short a time period to develop a sufficient immune response and is therefore considered to be a single dose.

If this is your case, you will need to receive a third dose of vaccine within the recommended timeframe to access the certificate. Please contact the COVID information line on 0800 909 400 for more information or submit a request for a third vaccination by email.

 

 


 Other official documents vs Covid Certificate

Can the vaccination certificates I received when I was vaccinated replace the COVID certificate?

The certificates issued by your vaccination centre may not be recognised abroad. They cannot replace the COVID certificate when this is explicitly requested.

It is therefore necessary to find out about the entry conditions in your destination country and any countries of transit, in terms of sanitary requirements.

See also :

 

How about my yellow international vaccination leaflet? Can it remplace the COVID certificate?

This document may not be recognised in all countries.

It is therefore necessary to find out about the entry conditions in your destination country and any countries of transit, in terms of health measures.

See also :

 

 


Data security 

Where will my data be stored for the COVID certificate?

The COVID certificate is only stored locally, in your mobile phone application (using the « COVID Certificate Check », or the  « COVID Certificate » applications). Neither personal data nor certificates are stored in a centralised system.

If your mobile phone where you stored your certificate or your paper document is lost, a new certificate must be requested. To obtain a new certificate, you can apply online, by filling in online the COVID Certificates e-démarches application form | ge.ch.

 

Why is my consent needed to obtain my certificate?

In order to comply with the data protection requirements of the Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Cantonal Act on Public Information, Access to Documents and the Protection of Personal Data (LIPAD), COVID certificates will not be issued automatically and their issuance will require active consent from the person vaccinated, tested or cured. 

This is because this process involves transferring your data to the Confederation's certificate generation system. The data received by the Confederation is only used to generate the certificate and is not stored.

So, for example, in the context of vaccination, whether you are already fully vaccinated before 21st June and therefore receive your certificate digitally, or whether you still need to be vaccinated as from 21st June, in which case you will receive your certificate directly at your vaccination centre, your consent will be required before your certificate is issued. A transfer of your medical data from the vaccination site to the federal system is carried out in order to produce the certificate.

Important
In the context of COVID-19 vaccination and COVID certificates, the canton does not use Twitter or WhatsApp accounts.

 

 

Check also:

Frequently asked questions (FOPH)

 

If you have any further questions regarding the COVID certificate, please do not hesitate to call the COVID-19 general information lines :


COVID-19 general information ligne (0800 909 400) - free call  - 7/7 - 8h-19h

From Switzerland: 0800 909 400
From abroad: 41 22 427 8590