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- Dubai 05:31 06:49 12:14 15:11 17:33 18:52
The National Council voted 151-29 in favor of the legislation, which had already been approved by the Senate. It was passed by the right-wing Swiss People's Party and easily overcame reservations expressed by the centrists and the Greens.
This step follows a nationwide referendum two years ago, in which Swiss voters narrowly approved a ban on the niqab, which leaves slits for the eyes, and the burqa as well as ski masks and balaclavas worn by some protesters.
With the vote of the National Council, Parliament strengthened the ban in federal law and imposed a fine of up to 1,000 francs (about $1,100) on violators.
This measure prohibits covering the nose, mouth, and eyes in public places and private buildings that are accessible to the public, although it allows for some exceptions.
Few women in Switzerland wear full face coverings like the burqa, which is perhaps best known as the garment worn in Afghanistan.
There are two Swiss cantons or regions - southern Ticino and northern St. Gallen - that already have similar laws. The national legislation would make Switzerland align with countries like Belgium and France that have enacted similar measures.
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