Coronavirus divides lovers, friends at Swiss-German border fences

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:44s - Published
Coronavirus divides lovers, friends at Swiss-German border fences

Coronavirus divides lovers, friends at Swiss-German border fences

Constance, Germany, and Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, are divided cities these days, with a strip of grass and two fences separating them after the countries closed their borders to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Lauren Anthony reports.


Germany and Switzerland are usually divided by little more than a strip of grass at this point of the border at Constance and Kreuzlingen.

But due to lockdown measures, it's not just the countries that have been left separated.

People have been too.

Partners, siblings, parents, children, and old friends pressed against the chain links on Sunday (April 5).

Getting just close enough to say "I love you" to their loved ones - but too far apart to touch.

Swiss Jean-Pierre Walter drove an hour from Zurich to see his German partner Maja Bulic, who traveled two and a half hours from near Heidelberg.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) SWISS MAN FROM ZURICH, JEAN-PIERRE WALTER, SAYING: "We spoke to each other on FaceTime in recent weeks and this was enough for a certain period of time, but after two or three weeks you realize that's too little.

We needed to see each other and hear each other's voices to have the feeling of having your partner.

So it became clear that there was no other way but to meet here at this fence." (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN WOMAN FROM LEIMEN, MAJA BULIC, SAYING: "This is bad for us but it's not existential.

We know that we will stay together and one day we will be able to be together again the way we imagine." This area is essentially a no man's land.

It traces the route of a barbed wire-topped barrier that split Switzerland and Germany during World War Two - which was removed long ago.

It's also a reminder of disruption for Europeans accustomed to crossing borders where they please.

Though Switzerland is not in the European Union, agreements usually allow the Swiss and the bloc's citizens to travel almost freely in normal times.

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