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On Tuesday, Swiss foreign minister Ignazio Cassis said the correct approach in tackling the coronavirus was not to close borders but instead to promote European cooperation.
Swiss authorities had been reluctant to close the borders due to the number of cross-border workers who live in Italy but work in the Swiss healthcare sector.
Cassis addressed this, saying “the health reality is that we are interdependent on the European continent. Our neighbours know, for example, how much the Swiss healthcare system depends on border staff.”
Around 4,000 healthcare workers traverse the border daily – along with 70,000 workers in total.
On Wednesday however, Swiss authorities issued a list of nine border crossings which would be closed.
As at Wednesday afternoon, March 11th, cross-border workers from Italy will be permitted to cross into Switzerland – although they will need to use one of the alternative border crossings provided below.
Neighbouring Austria on Tuesday closed its border to Italy and is set to refuse any entrants from the country, with Slovenia putting in similar restrictions.
Italy has also put in place extensive restrictions on internal travel in the country.
Border closures and alternative routes
Partial border closures were put in place on Wednesday between Switzerland and Italy.
In total, nine border crossings were closed, with an alternative crossing point provided for each.
Pedrinate -> Chiasso strada (Ponte Chiasso)
Ponte Faloppia -> Novazzano Brusata (Bizzarone), Chiasso strada
Novazzano Marcetto -> Novazzano Brusata (Bizzarone), Chiasso strada
San Pietro di Stabio -> Stabio Gaggiolo
Ligornetto Cantorn -> Stabio Gaggiolo
Arzo -> Stabio Gaggiolo, Brusino Arsizio
Ponte Cremenaga -> Fornasette o Ponte Tresa
Cassinone -> Fornasette
Indemini -> Dirinella (Zenna)
“We must reiterate to our fellow citizens that at this epidemiological stage, when the virus is circulating all over Europe, the closing of borders is no longer taken into consideration,” he said.
“Everyone is affected. What matters is first of all coordination between the health services of European countries.
“The coronavirus crisis requires us to exchange as much information as possible, both on the progression of the epidemic and on the state of stocks for protective equipment.”