What's going to happen to the COVID Certificate app?

What's going to happen to the COVID Certificate app?

Answer

As of 1 September 2023, the COVID Certificate app is not being developed further. Existing certificates in the app are only stored locally. It will therefore still be possible to display these in a reduced form even after the certificate system has shut down. All other functions in the app are no longer available.

The Swiss certificate system consists of so-called back-end systems, which the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT) uses to issue and check COVID certificates, and the apps installed locally on mobile phones (COVID Certificate app (holder app) and COVID Certificate Check app (verification app)). As the back-end systems (with the exception of repositories for static text and configuration files) will be fully shut down from 1 September 2023, from that point onwards existing holder apps will no longer receive a response from the back-end systems and will thus display the following messages:

  • Validity could not be determined
  • Verification not possible at this time
  • In order to show the certificate's validity, the app must be online regularly.

However, the fact that the holder apps will no longer receive a response from the back-end systems will not affect the QR codes on the existing COVID certificates. This means that the QR codes can still be checked if need be, and certificates can still be used for travel as long as they comply with the destination country’s entry regulations and their QR code has technically not yet expired. The QR code for each COVID certificate is technically valid for two years.

What do I need to do if I’m travelling to a country which still requires proof of a COVID vaccination or of having had COVID and recovered?

What do I need to do if I’m travelling to a country which still requires proof of a COVID vaccination or of having had COVID and recovered?

Answer

COVID certificates issued before 1 September 2023 can still be used for travel if need be, as long as they comply with the destination country’s entry regulations and their QR code has technically not yet expired. The QR code for each COVID certificate is technically valid for two years.

Alongside the COVID certificate, alternative evidence of vaccination or having had COVID and recovered is usually accepted. In general, the evidence required is a sovereign matter to be decided by each individual country. Always look on the relevant authorities’ websites for your transit and destination countries to clarify what evidence they accept.

Can I destroy my COVID certificates now?

Can I destroy my COVID certificates now?

Answer

It may be advisable to hold on to your COVID certificates a while longer. Existing certificates can also still be used for travel if need be, as long as they comply with the destination country’s entry regulations and their QR code has technically not yet expired. The QR code for each COVID certificate is technically valid for two years from the date of issue.

Existing certificates in the COVID Certificate app are only stored locally. It will therefore still be possible to display these in a reduced form even after the certificate system has shut down. For more information on displaying certificates in the app, please see the FAQ "What's going to happen to the COVID Certificate app?".  All other functions in the app are no longer available.

 

The Swiss COVID certificate system was discontinued – what exactly does this mean?

The Swiss COVID certificate system was discontinued – what exactly does this mean?

Answer
  • The Swiss COVID certificate system was discontinued on 1 September 2023 and the technical infrastructure was decommissioned. It is no longer possible to issue COVID certificates to people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, had the disease and recovered, or tested negative. Also, as of 1 September 2023 it is no longer possible to replace or re-issue existing certificates (e.g. if a certificate is lost).
     
  • The entire certificate system was designed to operate with an absolute minimum of data. No certificates or personal data for the people receiving certificates were held on the central federal systems. Checking of the certificates with the COVID Certificate app was done locally, and no certificate data were transmitted. For transparency reasons, the only information recorded was data on the issuers (e.g. who issued which type of certificate and when) and certain non-personal key indicators (e.g. number of certificates issued). The log data on logins and issuance are subject to statutory storage and deletion requirements and will be deleted in accordance with these requirements as soon as the retention obligation lapses. Eventually, the only data remaining will be statistical, non-personal key indicators.
     
  • Existing certificates in the COVID Certificate app are only stored locally. It will therefore still be possible to display these in a reduced form even after the certificate system has shut down. For more information on displaying certificates in the app, please see the FAQ "What's going to happen to the COVID Certificate app?". All other functions in the app are no longer available.
     
  • The Swiss "COVID Certificate Check" app can no longer be used to check COVID certificates, and can be deleted.
     
  • Both apps were removed from the app stores.
     
  • COVID certificates issued before 1 September 2023 can still be used for travel if need be, as long as they comply with the destination country’s entry regulations and their QR code has technically not yet expired. The QR code for each COVID certificate is technically valid for two years.
Why is the COVID Certificate app still on my mobile phone even though the COVID Certificate system was decommissioned on 1 September 2023?

Why is the COVID Certificate app still on my mobile phone even though the COVID Certificate system was decommissioned on 1 September 2023?

Answer

The app will remain on your mobile until you manually delete it. The COVID Certificate app and the certificates it contains are stored locally on your mobile. It will therefore still be possible to display existing certificates in a reduced form even after the certificate system has shut down. For more information on displaying certificates in the app, please see the FAQ "What's going to happen to the COVID Certificate app?". All other functions in the app are no longer available. The federal government has no access to the app or the certificates it contains.

What should I do if I want to get proof of my COVID vaccination or recovery from COVID after 31 August 2023?

What should I do if I want to get proof of my COVID vaccination or recovery from COVID after 31 August 2023?

Answer

Vaccination: At most vaccination locations, you will receive printed proof of vaccination from the healthcare professional after you have been vaccinated. This proof of vaccination indicates the date and location of the vaccination, as well as providing information on the vaccine administered (trade name, manufacturer and batch number). At some vaccination locations, you can have the COVID-19 vaccinations entered directly in your vaccination record.

Recovery: You can continue to take COVID tests at your own expense. For information on how to get a test, please refer to the canton websites. You will usually receive a written confirmation of a positive test.