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How to get Switzerland’s Covid certificate with an antibody test

A Covid antibody test opened up to show all of the components
Covid antibody tests can now be used in order to get a Covid certificate in Switzerland. Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP
Want to get Switzerland's Covid certificate with an antibody test? Here's what you need to know.

Since Tuesday, November 16th, antibody tests can be used to get Switzerland’s Covid certificate. 

Antibody tests show that someone has recently had the virus and therefore has built up a degree of immunity. 

Covid tests from antibody certificates will be valid for 90 days and are only valid in Switzerland, i.e. will not be valid when used abroad. 

Previously, Covid certificates for people who had recovered from the virus were only available when they had evidence of a positive test taken at the time they had the virus. 

READ MORE: Switzerland approves antibody testing for Covid certificate

A Covid certificate on the basis of recovery is valid for 12 months from the time the positive test was taken, up from the previous six months. 

Swiss authorities said more studies were being done on the duration of immunity from both Covid infection and from vaccination, but indicated that a longer period of validity for those who have recovered from the virus was warranted. 

What are antibody tests for Covid? 

Antibody tests are the name given to serological tests which seek to determine if you have antibodies in your system for the virus. 

As noted by the Swiss government “the presence of a person’s own antibodies indicates that they have already been in contact with the virus or have been vaccinated.”

Antibody tests are 99 percent reliable in showing Covid antibodies in your blood, according to the Swiss government. 

Canton-by-canton: How visitors can get Switzerland’s Covid certificate

How can I get a Covid certificate with an antibody test? 

Antibody tests are offered by pharmacies, general practitioners and in hospitals. There is no exhaustive or official list of providers. 

Contact your doctor or visit your local pharmacist to find out about antibody testing. 

The cost of the tests are not covered by the government. A test will usually cost between 60 and 100 francs. 

Once you complete the test, it will be sent to a lab. 

The lab will assess your sample and then issue a Covid certificate. You do not need to apply separately. 

The test must be taken after November 16th, i.e. antibody tests taken before that date will not be sufficient. 

What if I haven’t been able to get an appointment? 

Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes reported on November 17th that appointments at doctors’ offices and pharmacies were booked out across the country, due to the popularity of the tests. 

For those who have been unable to get an appointment, there are some other options – including doing the test yourself. 

Zurich start up Health Yourself allows people to do the test themselves at home and return it, provided they film the entire thing and provide ID so that it is clear they have done the test themselves. 

Whether this is allowed is up to the authorities in each canton. 

 


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