Swiss municipal swimming pool bans foreigners

The municipality of Porrentruy has authorized the town’s swimming pool to be reserved exclusively for Swiss residents – a decision leading to strong criticism.

A swimming pool reserved for Swiss residents? This was the idea of the municipality of Porrentruy in Switzerland. The town is close to the French border. The latter recently decided to prohibit foreigners from entering the city’s swimming pool.

The measure was taken particularly against “French” bathers. The reason given by municipal authorities is “to ensure public order and health security”. Until the end of the summer, only residents of Switzerland will be able to enter the enclosure of the outdoor swimming pool, showing proof of identity or residence permit.

According to a professor of constitutional law, Etienne Grisel, the ban can be clearly justified “when it concerns public interest”. He told news outlet RTS that “equality is normally guaranteed to everyone, but there are bound to be exceptions”.

As 20Minutes Suisse reported on July 31, this decision unleashed a storm on social media. Some have deplored that the French are all “put in the same category” suggesting that the French felt that they were being discriminated against because of the behaviour of Muslim youths.

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