Covid certificate adapted amid special vaccination drive

A special "vaccination tram" in the streets of Zurich and a host of other offers and events are part of week of action across Switzerland to boost the number of vaccinated people. Keystone/Michael Buholzer

The government has announced that the use of a Covid certificate in Switzerland will be extended for a longer period of time for people who have recovered from the viral infection.

This content was published on November 3, 2021 - 16:07

The document necessary to access restaurants, nightclubs, fitness centres as well as culture and sports events will be valid for 12 months instead of six months. However, the extended certificate is only valid in Switzerland as other European countries still limit the validity to 180 days.

The new rules come into force in mid-November according to a government press release from Wednesday.

As part of the latest adjustments, people who have produced a necessary antibody blood test to prove their immunity can also receive a certificate, but its validity is limited to 90 days and for use in Switzerland only.

In addition, the government also eased access to a certificate for people who have received jabs with vaccines made in China and approved by the World Health Organization.

Until now, only vaccines recognised by Swiss or European medical agencies were valid to receive a Covid certificate, which was made compulsory from mid-September to access public indoor spaces.

Opponents have forced a nationwide vote at the end of November about the Covid certificate amid street protests against the government’s anti-pandemic policy.

Vaccination campaign

Representatives from the Swiss government and the cantonal authorities on Wednesday also presented further details of a planned vaccination drive next week.

Swiss President Guy Parmelin renewed calls for everyone to do their individual part to combat the pandemic in the interest of the country. He said the vaccination rate was still too low to lift restrictions as infections keep rising in Switzerland, reaching nearly 2,600 new cases in the past 24 hours.

“We need solidarity to put an end to this bizarre nightmare,” he told a news conference.

Interior Minister Alain Berset said the main aims of the special vaccine week of action are to “inform people about the vaccinations and ease access to a vaccine".

He said the CHF96 million ($105 million) spent on the campaign was worth it to help prevent a collapse of the country’s health system. "Every vaccination counts," Berset said.

National and cantonal institutions as well as private organisations and artists are involved in a series of events across the country next week.

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