Sweden excluded as neighbors Denmark and Norway ease travel restrictions

Cheryl Sanders
May 29, 2020

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced on Friday Denmark will reopen its borders from June 15 to residents of Germany, Norway and Iceland but "with restrictions", while Norway said it would do so for Danish visitors. There was "a strong desire to find a solution with our neighbour, Sweden", she added, but Denmark and Sweden "are in different places when it comes to the coronavirus, and this affects what we can decide on the border". Moreover, they're each within the European Union, whereas Norway just isn't. "We are doing it in a controlled and gradual manner", Frederiksen said.

In comments reported by Swedish TV on Friday, she said Sweden had hoped for a common Nordic solution but it was impossible.

Other countries including Greece, Estonia and Latvia have also refused to open up to Swedish visitors.

But Sweden's lack of lockdown has caused its neighbours to deny its request for co-ordinated Nordic action, despite Swedish ministers asking Denmark, Norway and Finland to act together in Nordic co-operation.

Anders Tegnell, Sweden's chief epidemiologist and the main architect of the country's coronavirus strategy, said dialogue between the Nordic neighbours was "continuous".

An MP from the Swedish border city of Malmö, Niels Paarup-Petersen, told the Local website he had "hoped that we wouldn't be treated differently".

Large gatherings were banned but restaurants and schools for younger children have stayed open.

Norway and Denmark say they'll open up tourism between their two nations from 15 June however will preserve restrictions for Swedes.

More than 4000 Swedes have died from COVID-19, nearly four times the combined total of the other Nordic countries. Its per million tally is, however, lower than the corresponding figures of 548, 570 and 580 in Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain.

'But we must underline that we are not over the corona crisis, ' she said.

The same applies to Denmark's 26 sister countries in Europe's ID check-free travel zone, known as the Schengen Area.

The new rules mean business travellers arriving from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden will no longer be subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine, which is now the case for nearly all arrivals from overseas.

Sweden announced on Friday that its senior high schools and universities could begin re-opening from 15 June.

Other reports by iNewsToday