Switzerland tightens border controls ahead of Euros and Olympics

Switzerland tightens border controls ahead of Euros and Olympics

The Swiss government has announced that it will be strengthening border controls from the beginning of June 2024, ahead of the UEFA European Football Championships in Germany and the Paris Olympics. A combination of major public events in Switzerland's neighbours and the upcoming Ukrainian peace conference on the Bürgenstock has increased the threat of terrorism in the alpine nation.

Swiss border checks strengthened from June 2024

In a statement, the Federal Council confirmed it would be “temporarily” strengthening controls at the Swiss border with all neighbouring countries. These measures are expected to begin at the beginning of June and last until September 8, 2024 - the conclusion of the Paralympic Games in Paris.

During this time, Swiss police and border officers will carry out “targeted and risk-based controls” on drivers and other travellers. While this won’t mean that every person crossing the border will be checked, or the “formal reintroduction of internal border controls”, it will mean that the authorities will carry out far more random spot checks than normal, so it’s important to carry all necessary documentation (passport, visa, residence permit, etc) with you when crossing the border.

High terrorist threat ahead of Olympics and Euros

In explaining the change, the Swiss Federal Council wrote that the measures “will help strengthen security and, in turn, prevent a terrorist attack.” Indeed, Islamic State and other extremist groups have called for attacks against the European Football Championships in Germany and the Paris Olympics, both of which are due to get underway in the coming months. “Domestic and foreign intelligence services therefore estimate the terrorist threat to be high”, the government wrote.

They added that while the country is “less in the spotlight” compared to German cities and Paris, public events in Switzerland and public viewings of the Olympics and Euros are still “possible targets” for terrorists. 

What’s more, the country is also set to host a major Ukraine peace summit on June 15, with a number of world leaders set to attend the conference on the Bürgenstock in Canton Nidwalden. Alongside the tightened border restrictions, approximately 4.000 soldiers will be in operatation at the meeting.

Thumb image credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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