The ability to move freely across the border is not full of consensus. The green light decided on Wednesday by the Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza made the many Ticino residents happy who could not wait to cross the border without the obligation to undergo a swab. And, in the same way, it allowed merchants in the border areas to breathe a sigh of relief, after a year without Swiss customers. All right, then? Not exactly. The decision of Rome, in fact, makes the Ticino Council of State turn up its nose. “The problem has been discussed in the government, since it raises some questions about its timeliness”, confirmed Francesco Quattrini, cantonal delegate for external relations. “In less than a month, in fact, the EU pass will be introduced, which will make it possible to standardize the rules for travel between the various countries. But Italy has again decided to move ahead and unilaterally ». The Council of State, after having discussed it internally, has decided that it will raise the issue on Monday, on the occasion of the meeting scheduled in Bern with Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis and with the Ticino deputation in the federal chambers.
The Canton, we recall, during the second wave of the pandemic has repeatedly asked the Confederation that the measures on both sides of the border be more coordinated. By sending various letters to Bern, the Government had in fact asked several times to intercede with the Italian authorities to try to coordinate the introduction or relaxation of measures to deal with the pandemic. «Instead, in the last three months the measures, in Ticino and in Lombardy, have always been not very homogeneous. It is enough to remember that when Lombardy passed into the yellow zone, the restrictions in the restaurant sector remained in force here », highlights Quattrini. But the executive’s appeals have so far remained unheard. “And once again, we are faced with a measure desired by Italy, which however also affects us”, continues the delegate for external relations.
However, it is not just a problem of “one-sidedness”. According to Bellinzona, the provision signed by Minister Speranza “also has discriminatory elements”. Yes, because “those who live more than 60 kilometers from the border find themselves excluded from this facility. And maybe he would have compelling reasons to cross the border, such as looking after a parent who needs assistance ». Not only. The legislation is rather “bizarre”: “We consider the 60 kilometers from your home, yes, but it is not specified whether they are to be considered as the crow flies or on the road network. Furthermore, with the new ordinance, the Ticino citizens are exempted from the buffer, it is true, but the obligation to fill in an electronic tracking form remains in force, the so-called digital Passenger Locator Forms. In short, it is anything but a total go-ahead, and I don’t know how many have fully understood it ».
Without test, but with the form
The new ordinance, which should be valid until July 30, establishes that Swiss citizens living within 60 kilometers of the border can travel to Italy without a buffer for up to 24 hours. The same goes for Italians, who will be able to cross the Swiss border in the same way, and, as the ordinance states, for all people living within 60 kilometers, regardless of nationality. But be careful, because from May 24th it is mandatory to fill in an electronic tracking form, necessary for «anyone entering Italy from abroad for any duration, on board any means of transport». The digital document effectively replaces the paper self-certification, which can in any case be used “in exceptional cases, or only in the case of technological impediments”. The form should gradually be adopted by other European countries as well, but at the moment Italy is the first and only state to use it. Instructions for completing the form can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health.
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