Second Swiss canton votes to ban the burka as two-thirds say those who wear the veil ‘threaten public security’

Voters in St Gallen today approved a ban on facial coverings such as the burka by a two-thirds majority, becoming the second Swiss canton to do so.

Full-face coverings such as niqabs and burqas are a polarising issue across Europe, with some arguing that they symbolise discrimination against women and should be outlawed.

Under the Swiss system of direct democracy, voters in the north eastern canton demanded tightening the law to punish those who cover their faces in public and thus ‘threaten or endanger public security or religious or social peace’.