Swiss authorities close nine border crossings with Italy in Canton of Ticino March 11. Processing delays likely at alternative crossings.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 11 Mar 2020 17:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Entry Restrictions
  • Location(s): Ticino (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened screening and processing delays likely

Swiss officials announced on March 11 the closure of nine minor border crossings with Italy in the Canton of Ticino as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The purpose of the closures is to funnel travelers from Italy to larger crossings in order to facilitate more effective health screening and monitoring measures. The closed border crossings are as follows:

  • Pedrinate
  • Ponte Faloppia
  • Novazzano Marcetto
  • San Pietro di Stabio
  • Ligornetto Cantinetta
  • Arzo
  • Ponte Cremenaga
  • Cassinone
  • Indemini

The border closures were effective immediately following the announcement and will remain closed indefinitely. Swiss authorities have advised the border crossings at Chiasso Strada, Novazzano Brusata, Stabio Gaggiolo, Brusino Arsizio, Fornasette, Ponte Tresa, and Dirinella as the best alternative crossing points. The reduced number of open border crossings coupled with enhanced health screening measures at those crossings will likely lead to processing delays for travelers and freight between Italy and Ticino while the closures are in effect.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illnesses are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people. Preliminary investigations indicate the course of the illness is not as severe as seasonal influenza, nor as contagious.

Follow all official instructions. Confirm health documentation requirements before traveling from Italy to Switzerland and allow additional time for processing at border crossings between Italy and Ticino; anticipate possible shipping disruptions, consider delaying or rerouting shipments. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays and possibly result in quarantine.

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