Will border workers in Switzerland be subjected to France’s curfew?

Will border workers in Switzerland be subjected to France’s curfew?
More than 125,000 French workers are employed in the Genevas area. Photo by AFP
By adding two border regions of France to its list of departments affected by curfew restrictions, the French government limits the freedom of movement of those living close to the Swiss border.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that 38 new departments will be added to the country’s mandatory curfew list on Saturday, bringing the total to 54.

All people living in those areas must not go outside between 9pm and 6am.

Among the newly listed departments are Ain and Haute-Savoie, which are closest to Geneva.

Does this mean that about 125,000 French workers who are employed in and around Geneva will be impacted by the new restriction?

No. Those who don’t have to leave for their Swiss jobs before 6 am, or return to their homes in France after 9 pm, will not be affected.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Everything you need to know about Switzerland's quarantine rules

And even more people may be exempted from the rule.

The measure does not apply to those who have to cross the border for professional activities — including training — medical appointments, or important family reasons such as providing childcare of helping sick or vulnerable people.

Cross-border workers, whether from France, Germany, Italy, or Austria, have been given a special status by Swiss authorities — for instance, an exemption from quarantine requirements — as local economies, including healthcare facilities, depend on these people.

“We have no intention of letting entire swathes of our economy to shut down,” Antonio Hodgers, president of the Geneva Council of State told Tribune de Genéve.

Even during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring, when Switzerland closed its borders, authorities adopted a pragmatic approach by allowing cross-border workers to enter the country. 

 

 


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