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Italy suspends rail links with Switzerland

© Peter Moulton |

Update: It appears rail connections between Italy and Switzerland will not be interrupted after Switzerland’s president and the Italian minister of transport spoke on Wednesday. Solutions have been identified to ensure compliance with Italy’s anti-COVID measures. Rail links are expected to gradually return to normal over the next few days, according to a report by RSI.

The railway connections between Switzerland and Italy will not be interrupted. The decision was taken following a meeting between the President of the Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga and the Italian Minister of Transport Paola De Micheli. During the phone call – reads a note from the Italian ministry – “there was ample convergence on the need to ensure continuity of passenger transport between the two countries”.

The interview was followed by a technical meeting by videoconference, which was attended, in addition to the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MIT), by representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, Italian and Swiss railway companies. During the meeting, organizational solutions were analyzed and identified to ensure compliance with the anti-COVID measures and the continuity of the transport service which will gradually return to normal in the next few days.

Swiss Rail and Trenitalia will suspend cross-border rail links between Switzerland and Italy from Thursday, 10 December 2020, according to RTS.

The decision is the result of an Italian government order related to concerns about Switzerland’s response to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has been less strict than in Italy, in particular regarding decisions pertaining ski resorts.

Trains departing from Basel and Zurich passing through the Gotthard tunnel will now stop at the border town of Chiasso in Ticino. Trenitalia will run replacement trains between Como, the closest stop on the Italian side of the border, and Milan.

Trains running via Sion and through the Lötschberg tunnel on their way to Italy will stop in Brig. Exceptionally, regional trains will continue to run between Brig, in Switzerland, and the Italian town of Domodossola.

The situation regarding regional TILO trains running between the Swiss canton of Ticino and Italy remains unclear.

The decision to halt Swiss train services is the result of an Italian decree that rail operators in Switzerland decided they could not comply with. The Italian government wants passengers to be temperature tested before they enter Italy and to present a negative Covid-19 test result along with their employment contract.

EuroCity links are to be suspended indefinitely. Those with tickets on cancelled routes will be able claim refunds, according to a report on RTS.

In March 2020, Italy threatened to cut rail links with Switzerland.

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Le News
The newspaper Le News is a free, quality, local English language newspaper launched on 31 October 2013. Le News fills a gap in local Swiss media for the numerous English-speakers living and visiting Switzerland. In late January 2015 we decided to put our print medium on hold and focus on our digital media presence.
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