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Swiss update travel advice for US after Capitol riot

A view down Pennsylvania Avenue shows the security around the Capitol Hill in Washington on January 15 Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Switzerland has updated its travel advice for the United States over expected tensions ahead of Joe Biden’s swearing in as the next US president and in the aftermath of the riots in the Capitol on January 6.

This content was published on January 16, 2021 - 11:19
Keystone-SDA/FDFA/swissinfo.ch/ilj

“In connection with the change in presidency, the US authorities are warning of possible demonstrations and clashes, particularly around government buildings in Washington and in other US states,” the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) said in advice valid from Saturday.External link

It made explicit mention of the riot of January 6, in which supporters of outgoing US president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building, citing “several deaths and injuries” (five died as a result of the riots).

People should therefore avoid mass events and rallies of any kind and follow instructions issued by local authorities, such as curfews, the FDFA said.

Tensions

The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take place in Washington on January 20.

The FBI has warned of armed protests at state capitols and in Washington DC in the lead-up to the ceremony, resulting in security being ramped up in US capital. Washington DC is already under a state of emergency after the riots at Capitol Hill.

Overall, the country is stable, but the FDFA urged caution around demonstrations. There could also be local protests and clashes with security forces, the FDFA warned, pointing to tensions over cases of police force.

The US Department of Homeland SecurityExternal link has warned of possible terror attacks, it added.

The FDFA also continues to recommend against all non-urgent travel to the US due to the coronavirus pandemic. States have varying travel restrictions in place, it said.

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