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Besides places of worship and other sacred sites, no person in Switzerland will be allowed to cover their face with a niqab and burqa.

Referred to as the burqa ban among the locals and the media, it was announced after the country’s 26 cantonments approved a ban on full facial coverings in a recent vote.

Not even tourists will be allowed to appear in public while wearing niqab or burqa. The only facial coverings allowed will be those for medical reasons, like masks during the COVID-19 pandemic or during extreme winter conditions when faces are covered in order to keep warm.

Another exception is the wearing of masks during cultural festivals, where the covering of faces form part of tradition.

CNN reports that the result of the vote has been criticized as "anti-Muslim" by Amnesty International.

"Swiss voters have once again approved an initiative that discriminates against one religious community in particular, needlessly fuelling division and fear," the group said in a statement on Sunday.

Other European countries where partial or total bans are in place include the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany and Belgium.

According to Reuters, the aim of the ban is to prohibit protesters from wearing masks when they turn violent and creating a sense of calm.  

Watch the Retuers video below for more on the burqa ban.

Image credit: Ugolini

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