New COVID certificate rules in Switzerland: What expats need to know
After several delays, the Federal Council has confirmed that COVID certificates will be enforced in public and private settings in Switzerland from Monday, September 13.
COVID certificate or “2G” requirement now mandatory in Switzerland
As of Monday, the official COVID certificate app or paper equivalent will be required in public venues and some private gatherings. The decision came as “the number of cases is increasing and willingness to vaccinate is stagnating,” according to 20 minuten. 90 percent of COVID patients in ICU in Switzerland are unvaccinated, with many hospitals warning that the situation is still “tense.”
When asked about the new rules, Health Minister Alain Berset said that the addition of COVID certificates to Switzerland’s fight against the virus was “the logical conclusion.” He noted that "we simply cannot afford to double the number of cases" as is projected, and said the hesitancy of the population to get vaccinated meant that Switzerland risked returning to lockdown restrictions if something wasn’t done. He said the government acted too late last year and would not make the same mistake again.
What are the new COVID certificate rules in Switzerland?
The new rules will mean that the current COVID certificate will be used in public and enclosed places. The current certificate, also known in some countries as “2G,” is valid if you have recovered from COVID-19 or have been double vaccinated.
New COVID-19 certificate rules enforced in all cantons
Here are the new rules in brief:
- The new rules around COVID certificates will apply to all people over the age of 16 and will last until the end of March 2022.
- People attending indoor settings such as concerts, theatres, cinemas, sporting events and weddings will require a valid COVID certificate.
- Religious and political rallies over 50 people must have a COVID certificate requirement.
- Outdoor events will more than 1.000 people must enforce a certificate.
- People who use the indoor areas of bars, restaurants, zoos, cinemas, fitness centres, casinos and pools must produce a COVID-19 certificate - the outdoor areas of these places will be exempt.
Any person who is found to have breached these regulations, such as with a fake or outdated certificate will face a fine of 100 Swiss francs. Companies or institutions that fail to comply with the new rules may be issued fines of 10.000 Swiss francs and possibly have their businesses shut down.
Alongside these new regulations, the Federal Government and Swiss cantons will announce a new system of entry restrictions to the country. Berset said that border authorities were testing different systems to determine what method to use in future. They will clarify whether these new entry requirements will mean a return to “quarantine on arrival” next week.