Public health, 13.09.2021

How the Covid certificate will be implemented

On Wednesday, the Federal Council announced the extension of the Covid Certificate requirement to gastronomy, culture and leisure from Monday, 13 September. But what does that mean? Here are some questions and answers.

Due to developments in the corona pandemic, the Federal Council (Bundesrat) is tightening its Covid protection measures from next Monday, 13 September until 24 January 2022. What does the certificate requirement mean in detail? These answers have been provided by the Federal Council.

How will the Covid certificates be checked?
In order to verify the authenticity and validity of the Covid certificate, the "COVID Certificate Check" app is available free of charge. For this purpose, the QR code on the paper certificate or in the "COVID Certificate" app is scanned and the electronic signature contained therein is checked.

During this process, the person carrying out the check only sees the name and date of birth of the certificate holder on the "COVID Certificate Check" app, and whether the Covid certificate is valid.

With the Certificate Light, it’s not possible to determine whether a person has been vaccinated, recovered or tested. The person carrying out the check must compare the name and date of birth with an identity document that includes a photo (e.g. passport, identity card, driving licence, residence permit, student card or SwissPass), and can thereby ensure that the certificate has been issued to this person.

Companies that do not check their guests risk a fine of CHF 10,000. This was explained by Michael Geber from the FOPH's legal department on Wednesday.

From Monday, the certificate requirement applies in restaurants: Anyone who has not been vaccinated, recovered or tested will not be allowed to enter.


Where do I have to register to receive the COVID Certificate Check app?
No registration is necessary. Similar to the "COVID Certificate" app, anyone can download the "COVID Certificate Check" app free of charge from the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery.

What other data of the certificate holder do the examiners see? Is the data stored?
The app does not store any data on central systems or in the "COVID Certificate Check" app during the verification process. Only the data mentioned in point 1 is visible. The Certificate Light is also available for domestic use. This is a feature in the COVID Certificate app.

If this function is activated by the certificate holder, a new QR code that no longer contains any health information is created from the data of the "normal" Covid certificate. The Certificate Light contains only the surname, first name, date of birth and an expiration date.

Can regular, checked guests be admitted later without an examination after an initial check?
This is not currently envisaged. The check must be carried out at every time of entry. This ensures that the certificate is always valid. The person carrying out the check does not see an expiry date on the "COVID Certificate Check" app, but only whether the certificate is valid at the time of receipt (see also point 1).

What should the persons carrying out the check do if a guest is already sitting at the table and does not have a Covid certificate?
The guest must be requested to leave the premises and, in the same way as the rule regarding the distribution of alcohol to minors, the guest must not to be served.

Do hoteliers also have to check the certificates of the guests?
There is no certificate requirement for hotel stays. The certificate only has to be checked for access to the hotel restaurant.

Isn't it the job of the police department or authorised security personnel to check identity documents? Are companies allowed to do this themselves at all?
In a similar manner to the rules regarding to the distribution of alcohol to minors, an identity card may be checked to ensure compliance with the applicable regulations.

Do companies that are subject to certification also have to offer on-site tests?
No, they only need to check the Covid certificates. If they offer on-site tests, they must also issue the appropriate certificates, which they check at the entrance.

How should self-service restaurants organise the checking of the certificate?
In the case of self-service restaurants, for example, the certificate check can be carried out at the cash register.