Why this Swiss pool just banned visitors from abroad

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.

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

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.

READ MORE: Eight great swimming spots to escape the Swiss summer heat

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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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?