Switzerland votes to ban full face coverings in public places

Switzerland has voted in favour of a proposal banning full facial coverings including the burqa and niqab in almost all public places. In the public referendum, around 51.21 per cent of voters voted in support of the controversial proposal. The vote means that full facial covering will be banned in all publicly accessible places in Switzerland including on the streets, public transport, in public offices such as restaurants, shops and in the countryside.

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Where will full-face covering be allowed?

The full-face covering will be allowed in places of worship and other sacred sites. It will also be allowed for health and safety reasons and in situations where it is a local custom such as carnivals.

Some other points:

  • According to the proposal by the Swiss Federal Government, there will be no additional exceptions such as for tourists.
  • France was the first European nation to ban burqas and niqabs in public places in 2011. The European Court of Human Rights had upheld the ban in 2014.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Switzerland Currency: Swiss franc.
  • Switzerland Capital: Bern.

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