Belgium adds, then removes, Ticino from travel warning list

Workers in restaurants and bars are obliged to wear masks in Ticino from next week. Keystone / Pablo Gianinazzi

Ticino was briefly added to a Belgian “orange” travel warning list, which urged arrivals to quarantine and take a Covid-19 test if they had been in the southern Swiss canton. An intervention by the Swiss foreign ministry then saw Ticino struck off the list on Thursday.

This content was published on July 16, 2020 - 18:12

The foreign ministry said it was “satisfied” that Ticino had been removed from the list. Diplomats intervened following objections from the Ticino government and health authorities.

In common with many countries, including Switzerland, Belgium monitors the Covid-19 threat from other countries and applies restrictions on places deemed to be a high risk. There was no explanation of why Ticino was temporarily listed as orange, signifying a medium threat of infection.

Ticino, which borders Italy, was one of the worst hit cantons during the pandemic, but other cantons have recorded higher infection numbers. Switzerland as a whole has registered more than 33,000 confirmed cases and nearly 1,700 deaths and has experienced a rise in cases since the end of a lockdown period.

The country has ordered extra measures to counter a second wave of the pandemic, including compulsory face masks on public transport. Several cantons have added their own measures, including Ticino which included tight restrictions on the number of people who can gather together in public places.

Ticino has also ordered restaurant and bar staff to wear face masks from Monday having only recommended the protective gear up until now.

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