In order to prevent a new wave of COVID-19 disease and increase the number of hospitalizations, Switzerland plans to maintain its current COVID certification requirements until mid-November.
However, this does not mean that the requirement will be completely rescinded by next month as the authorities have made it clear that they will only reassess the situation and decide on next steps depending on the epidemiological situation of the country, TheSchengen.com reports.
“To prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by another wave of infection, the Council intends to maintain existing certification requirements for the time being and reassess the situation in mid-November,” the Federal Council statement read.
And the Federal Council, in a meeting held on October 20, explained that the state intends to ease the requirement for certification as soon as hospitals stop receiving large numbers of infected people, regardless of vaccination rates within the country.
However, in line with a comprehensive analysis of current epidemiological risks, the Federal Council concluded that even a partial lifting of COVID certification requirements would pose a significant risk to the health system. This means that the requirement will not be removed anytime soon.
COVID-19 certification has become mandatory in Switzerland for everyone, including tourists, since September 13.
In addition, during the same meeting, the board proposed to facilitate access to COVID-19 certification, especially for those who have recovered from the disease.
Currently, recovered people can only get a certificate if they are able to prove their recovery status with a PCR test result. However, in line with the new proposal, anyone who submits a positive antibody test will be eligible for a Swiss COVID certificate.
In addition, it has been proposed that the redemption certificate should remain valid for 365 days instead of 180. However, this proposal has a downside since redemption certificates are only valid for 180 days in the European Union, which means that the document can only be used within the territory Switzerland.
Access to the certificate has also been made easier for people who cannot get a vaccination or test for medical reasons. This group of people will soon be able to get their Swiss machine-readable COVID certificate, which will be valid for 365 days.
Previously, Swiss authorities announced that third-country nationals can now apply for a Swiss COVID certificate as long as they have been immunized with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, the council suggested that those vaccinated with Sinovac and Sinopharm should also be allowed to receive a Swiss COVID certificate.
“In an effort to support the tourism sector and the economy, it is proposed that all tourists who have been vaccinated abroad with a WHO approved vaccine only receive the Swiss certificate. This is the current status of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines,” the council noted.
Consultations on the issues raised will continue until October 26, and