On 17 September 2021, the Federal Council adopted new rules for entry into Switzerland and for accessing the Swiss COVID certificate for people vaccinated abroad. The Swiss COVID certificate is now also accessible to people residing in Switzerland or entering the country who have been vaccinated abroad with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In addition, access to the certificate for returning Swiss Abroad will also be made possible for other WHO-approved vaccines.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad commented on this on 14 September 2021 and is delighted that concrete solutions for the concerns of the Swiss Abroad are now being implemented. 

The unclear situation about the recognition of certificates prompted the OSA to issue a statement on 14 September 2021 (available in German or French), reinforcing the demand of the Council of the Swiss Abroad to recognise vaccination certificates issued abroad for WHO-approved vaccines in Switzerland as well as certificates from third countries.

On 17 September 2021, the Federal Council reacts and decides on new rules for access to the Swiss Covid certificate. From 20 September 2021, the Swiss COVID certificate will also be issued to people residing in Switzerland or entering the country who have been vaccinated abroad with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The documents can be submitted electronically. Each canton designates a contact point where people vaccinated abroad can obtain information. An overview of the procedure and the cantonal contact points can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health (OFPH) in the section "I've been vaccinated. How can I get a COVID certificate?". 

However, not all vaccination production sites are recognised equally by the EMA. To this end, the Federal Council has decided on a transitional phase until 10 October 2021, during which all foreign vaccination certificates will be valid for access to facilities or events in Switzerland that are subject to a COVID certificate. Furthermore, similar to neighbouring countries, access to the certificate is not to be extended to all WHO-recognised vaccines, with returning Swiss Abroad and other persons being exempt from this regulation. 

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad is pleased that the efforts to have vaccines and certificates recognised for the Swiss Abroad have borne further fruit and have now led to concrete solutions.

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