Testing free until October 10


Those who have already received a first dose of vaccine may be tested free of charge until November 30 - This was decided by the Federal Council, specifying that the extension of ten days was decided to ensure sufficient time for the consultation of the cantons

Testing free until October 10
Free tests until October 10

Testing free until October 10

Free tests until October 10

People who have received the first dose of vaccine will be able to get tested free of charge until November 30 in order to obtain a COVID certificate.

This was decided today by the Federal Council, stating that to ensure sufficient time for consultation with the cantons and social partners, the government is extending by ten days, ie until October 10, the costs of testing for all.

In addition, the Commission plans to make it easier for tourists to obtain a COVID certificate by creating a national notification body, which is expected to be operational from October 11. All such proposals will be sent out for consultation until September 28. The government will reach a decision on October 1.

In a statement issued today, the Federal Council reiterates, nonetheless, that it is not the task of the community to cover the costs of testing people who have not yet been immunized. As of last week, 600,000 tests were carried out with a view to obtaining a certificate; with the arrival of the cold months, this number is expected to rise to one million per week, or about 47 million francs (also per week) in the event of an unlimited extension.

The Government, the memo continues, is aware that it is difficult for many people to choose whether or not to get vaccinated. Since September 13, in response to the tense situation in hospitals, a more comprehensive COVID certificate requirement has been in effect. This decision, as well as the worsening epidemiological situation and the increase in hospitalizations, has probably convinced more people to get vaccinated after their summer vacation. In early August, an average of 8,000 vaccinations per day were carried out, a figure that rose to 20,000 in mid-September and now to 30,000.

In view of the increase in vaccinations, the government is therefore proposing that the federal government assume the costs of testing (rapid antigen tests and aggregate salivary PCR tests) until the end of November for those people who have received their first dose but do not yet have a COVID certificate. By doing this, the Federal Council wants to make sure that even people who need more time to decide whether or not to get immunized should not be financially penalized by the health pass extension.

In an effort to allow time for consultations and to encourage an increase in vaccinations, the Federal Council is extending by ten days, from October 1 to 10, the time limit after which the costs of the rapid antigenic tests that have so far been borne by the federal government will have to be covered out of pocket. Until that date, all rapid antigenic tests will be reimbursed, including COVID tests.


The increased need for COVID certificate testing as of September 13 and the ten-day extension of underwriting costs would generate an estimated 160 million additional costs. A further 120 million is expected to be incurred with the extension until the end of November of financing the testing of persons who have received only the first dose of vaccine.

Nationwide coordination of combined salivary PCR tests

The Federal Council also agreed at its meeting that in addition to the cantonal testing programs, nationwide aggregated salivary PCR testing will be coordinated from mid-October to ensure large-scale outbreak testing and aggregated repeat testing in all cantons.

Repetitive testing in schools, health care facilities and businesses will be managed by external service providers. Additionally, the possibility of allowing individual paid participation in aggregated salivary PCR testing for the issuance of the Covid-19 test certificate is placed in consultation. This procedure will allow for more reliable identification of infected persons than rapid antigenic testing.

Notification Body

With regard to the national notification body for Covid Certificates, all persons who have been vaccinated with a preparation approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and need a certificate to arrive in Switzerland can apply for a Swiss Covid certificate. This should also make it easier for tourists to participate in social life in our country.

The cantons, the notice points out, are responsible for checking documents and issuing certificates. To make it easier for people to obtain the document when entering Switzerland and to relieve the cantons, the Federal Council wants to establish a national body for the electronic notification of Covid certificates. This will allow those who have been vaccinated or cured abroad to electronically upload the information and documents required to issue the certificate.

The current transitional period for the use of human-readable vaccination certificates scheduled until 10 October is therefore to be extended by two weeks until 24 October. This will allow all persons entering Switzerland sufficient time to obtain the certificate. The Federal Council is also submitting this proposal for consultation until 28 September.

People vaccinated abroad with a vaccine that is only on the WHO list can only obtain a certificate if they are resident in Switzerland. Interested persons must present themselves in person at the contact office of their canton of residence.

Countries at risk, updated list

In accordance with the other Schengen States, the State Secretariat for Migration has updated the list of countries at risk: in view of the evolution of the epidemiological situation, the restrictions on entry into Switzerland of persons coming from Uruguay have been lifted, and restrictions have been introduced for persons coming into Switzerland from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Japan and Serbia. The new provisions will come into force on Monday, September 27, starting at 00.00.

No foreign nationals from an at-risk country who wish to stay in our country for a short time and cannot provide proof of any recognized vaccination may enter Switzerland. This applies in particular to tourists. People with a valid Swiss passport or residence permit may enter Switzerland from any country at any time.

Entry form

All people entering Switzerland must present an entry form. In addition, anyone who is not vaccinated or has not recovered must present a negative test.

More information on the requirements for entry into Switzerland can be found on the websites of the State Secretariat for Migration and the Federal Office of Public Health. The online tool «Travelcheck» allows you to check which people from which countries and under which conditions may enter Switzerland.

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