Switzerland extends border restrictions to all Schengen states

Switzerland extends border restrictions to all Schengen states
Photo: SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP
Switzerland extended border restrictions from midnight on March 25th to all Schengen countries, with only citizens, residents and those in possession of a cross-border working permit to be granted entry.

While gradual border closures had been put in place for the better part of the last month, the existing restrictions officially only applied to certain neighbouring Schengen countries (Italy, Austria, Germany and France) as well as all non-Schengen countries. There were also restrictions on flights from Spain.

The new restrictions now extend to nationals of all Schengen and non-Schengen countries other than Liechtenstein. 

All flights as well as land border crossings will apply the new restrictions as of midnight on March 25th. 

“Since midnight, these stricter entry requirements have also applied to flights from all remaining Schengen states with the exception of the Principality of Liechtenstein. The relevant authorities in the EU have been notified of the changes,” the government said in a statement.

The government added: “Citizens of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, persons with a Swiss residence permit and persons who have to travel to Switzerland for work-related reasons or because of an emergency will continue to be allowed to enter the country. Travellers may continue to transit through Switzerland and movements of goods are still permitted.

These measures aim to protect the Swiss population even more effectively against infection with the coronavirus and to maintain capacities in the Swiss healthcare sector.”

This means that all tourists, visitors, workers without permits and service recipients will be refused entry, while anyone seeking to enter Switzerland for medical treatment or to search for work will also be banned from entering. 

There are some limited exceptions to the ban, including medical professionals or diplomatic visitors.

There are also exceptions for people who “have to travel to Switzerland for matters of absolute necessity”, as per the Federal Department of Justice and Police Guidance

 

 

 


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