Coronavirus: Switzerland reaches agreement with Germany, Austria and France on opening borders

Keywords: Immigration | Pandemic

Press Release, The Federal Council, 13.05.2020

Switzerland plans to open all borders with Germany, Austria and France on 15 June 2020, if the epidemiological situation allows. Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter has reached agreement on this move following talks with the interior ministers of these three neighbouring countries. She advised the Federal Council of the agreement at its meeting on 13 May 2020.

The Federal Council decided on 29 April that it would gradually relax corona-related entry restrictions in line with the easing of economic measures. The first easing of measures took effect on 11 May 2020. Over the past few days, Federal Councillor Keller-Sutter has discussed a further move to relax measures in several telephone conversations with the interior ministers of Germany, France and Austria, Horst Seehofer, Christophe Castaner and Karl Nehammer. All three countries, like Switzerland, are currently in a transitional phase and in a comparable epidemiological situation.

Talks with neighbouring countries

The ministers agreed in bilateral discussions to open all borders between their respective countries as quickly as possible and to allow people the freedom to travel again. Provided the pandemic situation in the countries allows, this move should take effect on 15 June.

In the meantime, specific reciprocal solutions will be found without delay for unmarried binational couples and other categories of persons. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) will publish more information as soon as the details of these solutions have been agreed.

Federal Councillor Keller-Sutter informed the Federal Council at its meeting on 13 May 2020 of the agreement to relax border restrictions with these neighbouring states. The Federal Council will discuss the details at its meeting on 27 May, along with the easing of other restrictions on entry and residence. The FDJP in consultation with the FDHA and FDFA has the authority to remove countries from the high-risk list. Any move to relax measures is of course dependent on continued improvements in the epidemiological situation. This in turn depends on the population continuing to comply fully with the rules on hygiene and social distancing.

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