Switzerland: Baden-Württemberg closes border due to coronavirus risks

Switzerland: Baden-Württemberg closes border due to coronavirus risks
A policeman at the border between Switzerland and Germany. Photo: SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP
The German state of Baden-Württemberg has closed the border to Switzerland in both directions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The primary target of the ban is to prevent seasonal shopping tourism, along with people hoping to travel to Switzerland to go skiing, DPA reported on Tuesday. 

The border between Germany and France has also been closed.

While DPA reported that the closure is effective immediately as of December 22nd, an updated guidance produced by the state government said it would come into effect on December 23rd.

READ MORE: Switzerland imposes new restrictions on Christmas shoppers

In a statement released on Tuesday, the state government said that the reason for entry or exit was the relevant factor in determining whether or not people needed to quarantine.

“Quarantine-free entry for a stay of up to 24 hours in Baden-Württemberg or after a stay of up to 24 hours in a border region is only permitted if the entry or return journey is not primarily for tourist reasons or for the purpose of shopping.”

“In view of the extremely tense pandemic situation, border crossings must be temporarily reduced to an absolutely necessary level,” said Baden-Württemberg Minister of Health Manne Lucha on Tuesday in Stuttgart.

“We appeal to people not to exhaust the existing regulations and to refrain from all unnecessary contacts.”

“The risks that additional sources of infection arise when traveling to and from Baden-Württemberg is to be minimised (by the closure)”.

The border closure is in both directions. People from Baden-Württemberg are not allowed to go shopping or skiing in Switzerland, while Swiss are no longer allowed to go shopping in the state. 

There are a number of exceptions woven into the framework. 

The rules still enable quarantine-free entries for professional, official, business, school, medical or family-related reasons.

By making the decision, Baden-Württemberg is taking the same steps Bavaria adopted in November. 


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