Voters in the canton of St Gallen will have their say on whether to impose a conditional ban on covering the face in public after a group of young socialists launched a referendum campaign to contest parliament's proposal.

Last year the St Gallen cantonal parliament approved a bill banning any person from covering their face in public if they present a security risk or threaten social or religious peace, a condition evaluated on a case by case basis.

That could include women wearing the burqa and people covering their faces during demonstrations or protests or for criminal intent.

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