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What do Italy’s new restrictions mean for the Swiss border canton of Ticino?

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What do Italy’s new restrictions mean for the Swiss border canton of Ticino?
Cross-border workers can still commute between Ticino and Italy. Photo by AFP

Lombardy and Piedmont, which share a border with Ticino, implemented lockdown rules on Friday in order to control the spread of coronavirus. What does this mean for Switzerland's border region?

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Lombardy is Italy’s hardest-hit area and Piedmont the second-worst affected region.

New rules in the two regions include the closure of retail stores, except food shops, tobacconists and newsagents. Bars and restaurants are only be able to deliver.

From Friday, when the restrictions went into force, any movement within the two territories,
but also into and out of regional borders, is prohibited.

READ MORE: How will lockdowns in France and Germany affect Swiss residents? 

The border will remain open, but only a limited number of people will be able to cross it.

Among them are over 67,000 frontier workers, who commute daily to their jobs in Ticino and are considered essential to the canton’s economy.

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According to Italian deputy Alessandro Alfieri, “frontier workers will be able to keep going back and forth as they always have. Also people who must cross the border for study and health reasons can enter”.

They will, however, have to fill out and carry with them the ‘self-declaration’ form justifying their crossing the border into Italy.

On the other hand, tourists and cross-border shoppers are banned from entering for the time being.

What about going from Switzerland to Lombardy or Piedmont to visit family and friends?

According to Italian government website, "the same travel restrictions apply for foreign citizens as for Italians". 

This means no random travel or social visits.

However, it is possible to go there for valid reasons “of necessity and urgency" — for example, to care for relatives or friends who depend on your help.

The current restrictions will be in place until November 20th at the earliest.
 

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