Initially, in Switzerland, only those who have been vaccinated will get a Covid certificate. Those who have received a negative test result or have been infected and recovered will have to wait, according to a report in the TagesAnzeiger. This information was later confirmed by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), according to RTS.
For those who have been vaccinated, Covid certificates will be available by the end of June 2021. For the others no date has been given.
A number of people have responded with dismay to this information. Less than two weeks ago the FOPH announced that a forgery-proof Covid certificate would be available to anyone who was vaccinated, recovered from an infection or had recently tested negative.
According to FOPH, the Covid certificate will be in paper and PDF formats with a QR code. The QR codes can be scanned and saved in an app on your mobile phone.
A key concern with Covid certificates or passports is discrimination. Those with them will have more freedom and access to places and activities than those without one, creating a two tiered society, something made worse by vaccines not being available to all age groups.
Practically, it is far easier to verify if someone has been vaccinated. Most vaccinations in Switzerland are being administered in large vaccination centres with centralised data systems. And an individual has either been vaccinated or not. PCR tests to see if an individual is infected are being done in more places in smaller numbers with less centralised data systems.
Proving someone has been infected and recovered is riven with challenges. PCR tests administered too long after initial infection have a habit of being negative. And post-infection antibody tests have their limitations – some studies have shown T-cell immunity in people with negative antibody tests, so some might have immunity with no way to prove it.
The FOPH did not offer any Covid certificate timetable for those who have been infected and recovered or who plan to get by on negative tests.
The certificates, which are designed to demonstrate how likely someone is to infect others, are most likely to be required for access to large gatherings, nightclubs and international travel.