Banning the wearing of face coverings is a question of local cultural values, according to Marco Solari, president of the Locarno Film Festival. The ten-day festival opens on Wednesday in canton Ticino, where wearing a burka or niqab has been illegal since July 1.
In Switzerland, people show their face and shake hands, Solari said in an interview on Tuesday with newspaper Blick. "Whoever comes here should abide by our rules" he added.
The case of two teenage Muslim brothers at a school in Therwil who refused to shake the hand of their teacher before and after class – a common practice in Swiss schools – generated headlines around the world at the beginning of April.