Cross-border travel, “80% vaccinated in Lombardy”

Cross-border travel, “80% vaccinated in Lombardy”
Cross-border travel, “80% vaccinated in Lombardy”

Checks by the Swiss border guards in Chiasso. Keystone / Elia Bianchi

The eventuality that the Covid pass becomes mandatory for Swiss returning from Italy after having done the shopping hovered during the annual meeting of the Regio Insubrica, the cross-border association that brings together local Lombard-Piedmontese authorities and the Canton of Ticino.

This content was published on September 16, 2021 – 9:27 pm

September 16, 2021 – 9:27 pm

Leonardo Spagnoli

The proposal addressed by Bellinzona to the federal government, as part of the wide consultation promoted by Bern on the problem of infections carried by travelers from abroad, is causing discussion on both sides of the border. In fact, Rome allows the entry, without particular restrictions, of people within the 60 km band from the place of residence, in derogation of the European provisions that require the notification of the appropriate form.External Link to the health authorities of the country of destination.

The Confederation does not currently foresee any particular restrictionsExternal Link for entry from European countries but the increase during the summer of positives who have stayed in particular in the regions of south-eastern Europe and the Balkans has prompted Bern to put forward some limitations on which it should rule on Friday: double buffer, at entry and after 4-7 days, for those not vaccinated or not cured of the coronavirus or, alternatively, swab and quarantine of ten days.

Ticino government opposed to cross-border travel

In this regard, the Ticino executive, which adheres to an intermediate solution (compulsory quarantine only for movements originating in countries affected by particularly contagious variants), also argues that “for reasons of practicability of controls it is appropriate to avoid exceptions to tests for cross-border movements in border regions as well as for short-term expatriation “, obviously excluding frontier workers but not confederates who go across the border even just to do their shopping.

A prospect that immediately alarmed Massimo Mastromarino, president of the Italian border municipalities association who have already paid a heavy toll during the lockdown and who could now again suffer a new reduction in the influx of customers into their businesses. To avoid partial closures at customs, Massimo Mastromarino called on the Swiss authorities to liberalize cross-border movements in turn. But during the meeting, the Ticino councilor of state Norman Gobbi, who took over from the Piedmontese Matteo Marnati in the presidency of the insubric association, has opposed this hypothesis.

After highlighting “the deep interdependence (sometimes too much) between our territories”, the head of the cantonal department of institutions, alluding to this proposal, criticized those “unilateral initiatives” which “are not an expression of the collaboration that is to be promoted in within the Regio Insubrica “.

Sertori diplomat, Lombardy is not at Covid risk

On the subject, the Lombard councilor, with responsibility for relations with Switzerland, Massimo Sertori he wanted to maintain a prudent and diplomatic attitude, but not without refraining from highlighting the epidemiological situation that is, after all, reassuring in his region: “Lombardy, which was the territory first and significantly affected by the pandemic, was a problem for the Swiss”.

Today, Massimo Sertori continued, it is the region with the most vaccinated in Italy (over 80%) and at the top in Europe in this ranking. “We are looking for normality with a strategy that is based on vaccinations and green passes, which are indispensable tools for staying open”, always notes the Lombard councilor for local authorities.

Naturally, the interventions during the assembly focused on other issues, linked to the immediate prospects of this macro-region. These include the organization of the States-General of Tourism and Culture, designed to promote the recovery in a key sector for the economy of the region of the three lakes, with a series of events that will culminate next year with a final event in Novara.

Regio as a meeting point

But beyond the projects in the traditional sectors of cross-border mobility, lake management and transport, the Regio Insubrica, has been agreed by many parties, has played a fundamental role of connection when the two countries found themselves on opposite sides. In this sense, said Norman Gobbi, the network of contacts of the Regio Insubrica “facilitated the mutual understanding of the numerous restrictive measures that central governments (during the Covid crisis, ed) issued, sometimes with little coordination and often forgetting the peculiarities of border areas “.

While Massimo Sertori recalled, on the sidelines of the works of the Regio, the signing of the awaited agreement on the taxation of cross-border commuters, also thanks to the competition of the Lombardy Region and the Canton of Ticino and their intervention in the respective Ministries of Finance. That by January, the Lombard councilor reiterated, will be ratified by the two parliaments.

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