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COVID-19

EXPLAINED: Which border crossings are open between Geneva and France?

Starting Tuesday at 8 am, 19 crossings between the Switzerland and France were closed, with only 15 remaining open.

EXPLAINED: Which border crossings are open between Geneva and France?
The map shows which crossings between Geneva and France are open. Photo by Police de Genéve

Why has the border been partially closed?

In order to curb the spread of coronavirus from the neighbouring countries, Federal Council decided on Monday to restore border controls from France, Italy, Germany and Austria.

Entry into Swiss territory is now only possible for Swiss citizens, people with a residence permit in Switzerland, cross-border workers with a G-permit, as well as those who have to travel in Switzerland for professional reasons. Transit and transport of commercial (but not private) goods remain authorised.  

Which crossings will remain open around the clock?

Seven customs will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day: Ferney-Voltaire, Meyrin, Perly, Bardonnex, Thônex-Vallard, Moillesullaz and Anières.

Which ones will be partially open?

Eight customs will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day: Mategnin, Chancy 1, Soral 1, Croix-de-Rozon, Veyrier, Fossard, Mon-Idée, Monniaz.

READ MORE: CoCoronavirus: Would Geneva be able to function if French border closed?

All other customs will remain closed at least until April 19th. 

What other border crossings have been closed?

Last week, Switzerland partially closed its border with Italy, shuttering nine entry points and leaving nine alternate ones open.

EXPLAINED: Why did Switzerland only 'partially' close its border with Italy?
 

Why did Switzerland not close its borders completely?

Such a move would be detrimental to the country’s economy as Switzerland relies heavily on foreign workers. This is all the more true during the coronavirus pandemic.

An estimated 85,000 French frontaliers are employed in Geneva. At Geneva’s University Hospital (HUG), for instance, 60 percent of personnel comes from France.

More than 67,800 Italians work in Ticino, with about 4,000 employed in Ticino’s healthcare sector.

So closing the borders completely would deprive Ticino's and Geneva’s hospitals of the basic personnel just at a time when both cantons (and the country in general) are grappling the Covid-19 outbreak.

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said that Switzerland is “interdependent on the European continent. Our neighbours know, for example, how much the Swiss healthcare system depends on border staff”.


What about Swiss borders with Germany and Austria?

In order to implement closings in a targeted manner, “smaller border crossings around the country will be closed and cross-border traffic channelled through larger crossings,” the Federal Council said in a statement.

A list of these crossings will be published by the Federal Customs Administration as they happen. 
 

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COVID-19

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival announced on Friday that it was forced to drop the acts of four UK-based artists from its summer program because they haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists
British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man was dropped from Montreux Jazx Festival. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

The move was done in order to comply with current Covid-19 entry rules into Switzerland, which state that from June 26th, travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including Brits, will only be allowed to enter Switzerland if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. 

READ ALSO: Switzerland relaxes travel rules for vaccinated Americans and Brits: What you need to know

British soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man who was one of the headliners for the 2021 edition of the festival, which starts on July 2nd, will now no longer be able to attend due to not being fully vaccinated.

Other unvaccinated acts based in the UK who were also dropped because of the new entry rules include Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio.

The artists have already been replaced with other performers from around Europe including Italian singer Zucchero, Woodkid, Dutch songwriter Benny Sings and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression.

In a statement on June 25th, festival organisers said they were trying to make sure that the concerts of the other UK artists would continue to go ahead, however it is tricky because of fears over the Delta strain of the Covid virus, which has now become dominant in Britain.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of just a small handful of big music festivals in Switzerland that will still go ahead this summer. Other music events such as St Gallen Open-Air, Paléo and Bern’s Gurten festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to ongoing fears over the Covid-19 virus.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What rules do European countries have for travellers from the UK?

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