Switzerland Extends Border Controls to All Schengen States

Switzerland

Switzerland has extended border controls to all Schengen Member Countries in an attempt to increase protection for its citizens in the fight against the novel Coronavirus.

The decision has been taken by the Federal Department of Justice and Police, which notified the Swiss Federal Council during a meeting of the latter on March 25. Extended border controls started applying later on midnight, same day.

Last week, the Federal Council took the decision to impose restrictions on entry by land and by air from Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Spain, and from all non-Schengen States. Since midnight, these stricter entry requirements have also applied to flights from all remaining Schengen States with the exception of the Principality of Liechtenstein,” the statement reads explaining that relevant authorities in the EU have been notified of the changes.

The decision has been taken in accordance with the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, which permits the associated states to restrict the free movement of persons for reasons of public order, security and health.

In addition to the extension of the stricter entry requirements to cover flights from all Schengen States and the checks that are now being carried on these entry requirements as part of border controls at airports, all flights from abroad are now subject to the same entry checks.

Exempt will be only the following:

  • Citizens of Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
  • Persons with a Swiss residence permit.
  • Persons who have to travel to Switzerland for work-related reasons or because of an emergency will continue to be allowed to enter the country.
  • Transit travellers.
  • Movements of goods are still permitted.

The primary purpose behind the reintroduction of these measures is to protect the Swiss citizens against the infection with the coronavirus, as well as to maintain capacities in the Swiss healthcare sector.

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