The Swiss Federal Council announced in a press release published on 6 June 2020 that Swiss borders would be opened to all EU and EFTA countries and the United Kingdom from 15 June 2020.
The press release also states that the original plan was to open borders with Austria, Germany, and France, and that the epidemiological situation in the rest of the Member States will determine for sure whether or not Swiss borders will open.
“The FDJP announced in mid-May that the borders with Austria, Germany and France would be fully reopened on 15 June in agreement with the authorities of those countries. In view of the current epidemiological situation, it will also be possible to lift the existing entry restrictions applicable in respect of other EU/EFTA countries and the United Kingdom on 15 June,” the press release reads.
The Swiss Federal Council’s approach to addressing the current dilemma of opening up, which is faced by many countries, is based on the actions of other countries as well. According to the press release, many Schengen officials and many ministers have been wanting to return Europe back to normal.
“The Federal Council’s approach is in line with that of many European countries. During today’s informal video conference of Schengen-state justice and home affairs ministers, numerous ministers expressed the desire to see a return to normality and advocated the lifting of European internal border controls as of 15 June,” the press release reads.
According to the release, there will be many departments coordinating the reopening of Swiss borders with each other. These will include the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Department of Finance, and the Federal Council.
“The FDJP will prepare the necessary amendments to COVID-19 Ordinance 2 in cooperation with the Federal Department of Home Affairs FDHA, the Federal Department of Finance FDF and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, and submit them to the Federal Council for approval,” the press release reads.
On 16 May, the border restrictions put in place were loosened between Austria, Germany and Switzerland. However, all nationals of other Member States must still wait until 15 June to enter Switzerland for anything other than essential travel.
“Entry restrictions between Switzerland, Austria and Germany were relaxed on 16 May. Until 15 June, entry into Switzerland from all other EU/EFTA states is only permitted in exceptional circumstances,” the press release reads.
It is not yet known what exactly the loosening of the border restrictions will entail, however, other countries such as Germany will be opening borders with other Member States while still keeping border checks in place.