Why this Swiss pool just banned visitors from abroad

Why this Swiss pool just banned visitors from abroad
The access to the Porrentruy swimming pool is restricted to residents. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Starting on July 30th, the city of Porrentruy in the canton of Jura banned access to its municipal swimming pool to people who don't live in Switzerland.

Because of its proximity to France, Porrentruy's facilities are often used by those living on the other side of the border.

But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, town officials have decided to limit the number of people using the pool.

They have taken “urgent measures to ensure health security within the municipal swimming pool”, the city said in a press release.

Among the new restrictions that came into force on Thursday is a measure specifying that only people residing in Switzerland will be allowed to use the swimming compound. Those living abroad will be denied entry.

Porrentruy is the only town in Switzerland to have imposed such a restriction.

“Additional security guards will strengthen this new system so that users can enjoy the infrastructure in peace and with respect for each other”, the authorities said.

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Philippe Eggertswyler, the municipal official in charge of the swimming pool, said the restriction is intended to limit the number of people using the facility and therefore reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. 

“This measure could be seen as discriminatory but it's the most rational decision we could make,” he added.

The measure extends only to those coming from abroad to use the pool. Foreigners living in Switzerland are not included in the ban.

Eggertswyler said all people coming into the pool compound must show their Swiss ID or proof that they reside in Switzerland.

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