Swiss authorities say it is too early to lift restrictions on entry with Italy on June 3, the date on which its southern neighbors will open its borders.
The Federal Council (executive body) says in statementexternal link on June 2 that they plan to maintain border restrictions with Italy “until further notice”, because granting reciprocal border arrangements with Italy would be “premature”.
This means that, on Wednesday, Swiss citizens will be able to travel to and return from Italy, but Italian or Italian citizens will not be able to do the same in Switzerland.
The Federal Council added that they plan to coordinate the opening of the Swiss border with other Italian neighbors, in consultation with the Swiss canton bordering Italy.
The Swiss border has been closed and tightly controlled since March 13, when the government restricted land border crossings from Italy to curb the spread of Covid-19. Restrictions on entry by land and air then extended to all Schengen and non-Schengen countries.
Because of the positive evolution of the epidemic in Switzerland, many of the locking actions were unprecedented relax, including easing some border restrictions. The government plans with France, Germany and Austria to lift all travel restrictions between the four countries on June 15 if the virus situation continues to develop positively.
Meanwhile, Italy unilaterally decided to reopen its borders on June 3. But Switzerland has told neighbors in the south that it is too early to revoke border controls from that date. At present only cross-border workers can cross to Switzerland from Italy.
“Switzerland intends to coordinate the border regime with Italy as soon as possible and keep close relations with the Italian authorities,” the statement continued.
At present, strict controls remain in place at crossing points with Italy. Only Swiss citizens, holders of Swiss resident licenses, those who enter the country for professional reasons (eg, those who work here and have permission to prove it), important health workers, those who transit through or “in a situation of absolute necessity”, can now enter the country.external link
In Italy, the total number of deaths since the outbreak began on February 21 stood at 33,475 on June 1, the third highest in the world after the United States and Britain. The number of confirmed cases totaled 233,197, the sixth highest global count behind the United States, Russia, Brazil, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In Switzerland there were 30,818 confirmed cases and 1,920 deaths on June 2.
Keystone-SDA / sb
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