Coronavirus: Switzerland to lift COVID restrictions regarding all EU/EFTA states
Bern, 12.06.2020 - At its meeting on 12 June, the Federal Council took note of the decision taken by the FDJP to lift the entry restrictions that currently apply between all Schengen States as of 15 June, as was announced last week. Controls at Swiss borders with these states will end on this date and full free movement of persons will be restored with all EU/EFTA states and with the United Kingdom.
The Federal Council has noted the decision of the Federal Department of Justice and Police FDJP to remove Schengen States from the list of high-risk countries, and has approved amendments to the COVID Ordinance that reintroduce rights of free movement. By removing the Schengen states from the list of high-risk countries and areas, all restrictions imposed on persons entering Switzerland from the Schengen Area have been lifted. This includes the ban on importing goods for private use that have been purchased on a shopping trip abroad. In addition, all the border crossings that are currently closed will be reopened. The Federal Customs Administration FCA will continue to carry out risk-based controls to prevent smuggling and cross-border crime.
Full free movement of persons with EU/EFTA states and the UK
From 15 June, full free movement of persons will once again apply with all EU/EFTA states and the United Kingdom. All EU states with the exception of Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus belong to the Schengen area. Although the UK is not part of the Schengen area either, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons continues to apply there until 31 December 2020. These six countries will remain on the high-risk list after 15 June, which means that restrictions will continue to apply to third country nationals wishing to enter Switzerland from these countries. However, persons with rights of free movement will be allowed to enter Switzerland again from 15 June; this includes citizens of these six countries, their family members regardless of their nationality and third-country nationals who are posted to Switzerland for a maximum of 90 days in any year by a company based in these countries.
In view of the currently positive situation with regard to the pandemic in Switzerland and in most of Europe, the interior ministers of the Schengen States agreed last week to end controls at Schengen internal borders as quickly as possible. Several Schengen states have already announced that their borders will reopen on 15 June.
Next step: Relaxation of restrictions affecting third countries
The Federal Council will decide on the relaxation of entry restrictions affecting third countries at a later date in consultation with the other Schengen states.
The Federal Council progressively introduced entry restrictions from 13 March. These measures were intended to protect the Swiss population from the coronavirus and to safeguard capacities in the Swiss health care system.
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