March 25, 2020 / 2:31 PM / 3 months ago

Swiss restrict exports of protective equipment as coronavirus hits

ZURICH, March 25 (Reuters) - Switzerland has introduced temporary restrictions on the export of protective equipment to head off shortages among medical staff and others fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

Licenses will now be needed to export masks, gloves, goggles and swabs as of March 26, the government said on Wednesday.

Exceptions to the licensing requirement will apply to the European Union and the three other states in the European Free Trade Association as long as they treat Switzerland the same way, it added.

The government also announced a raft of measures to cut red tape related to recruitment and short-time working. The measures are designed to make it easier to recruit medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural or logistics workers, it said. (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)

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