Burqa ban counter-proposal: Swiss government wants tougher rules on face coverings

The Swiss government has rejected a nationwide burqa ban but hopes to introduce a new law that would make it illegal for people to refuse to uncover their face when asked to do so by government officials, transport staff or privately-contracted ticket inspectors.

Under the plans, anyone who repeatedly refused to show their face to government officials working in sectors including migration, customs or social security, or to rail and aviation transport workers could be hit with a fine.

Burqas and niqabs are not specifically mentioned in the draft law, which refers to face coverings. However, Muslim women wearing these garments would also liable to a financial penalty if they did not show their face when asked to do so.