The suspension on resettlement operations earlier in the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions significantly slowed progress in the resettlement field.
The first remote interviews were resumed at the Resettlement Support Facility (RSF), Turkey, in August 2020 to select refugees for resettlement in Switzerland. After a successful first remote experience in August, Switzerland planned another in November, but were first keen to pilot a face to face mission at the RSF in October. In October, the EASO RSF opened its doors to a Swiss resettlement team in accordance with COVID-19 prevention measures.
This face to face mission was swiftly followed up by another Swiss remote mission and in December 2020, Belgium conducted its first remote selection mission at the RSF, involving 162 refugees.