Corona: The Government wants borders to be more open for travel between Switzerland and neighbouring countries

05/05/2020 (14:00)
Press release
Government

The Government welcomes the gradual relaxation of restrictions on admission from the EU and third countries that were passed by the Federal Council on Wednesday. It firmly expects that – as announced today – processing of applications from economically active EU and EFTA nationals will start again comprehensively on 8 June 2020. However, it would also like this to apply to applications from third-country nationals. Lastly, the Government refers to the unresolved problem of the border regions where cross-border neighbourly exchange is no longer possible. This puts a strain on the social fabric and, in the long term, can lead to unreasonable hardship. Relaxation is required here too, in consultation with the neighbouring states.

The Federal Council’s two-stage approach to restrictions on admission corresponds to the logic of a gradual and moderate relaxation from a health-policy perspective, and allows the best possible public acceptance and gradual preparation for its execution.

The Government firmly expects that – as already announced – processing of applications from economically active EU and EFTA nationals will start again comprehensively on 8 June 2020. However, it would also like this to apply to applications from third-country nationals. This extension would be extremely significant for the regional economy, and the life sciences sector in particular.

Furthermore, the Government draws the attention of the Federal Council to the unresolved issue of the border regions where neighbourly exchange between people living on opposite sides of the border is no longer possible. This causes strain because encounters with close neighbours are part of a healthy social fabric. Structures and relationships that have formed over decades were cut when the borders closed. However, if neighbourly relations are supposed to be possible within Switzerland, this must also apply to neighbours aboard who sometimes only live a few metres away. In the long term, this situation can lead to unreasonable hardship for friends, families or couples who can now no longer meet each other.