Norway and Denmark will reopen the borders between the two countries from 15 June. Restrictions for Swedes will however be maintained. Several opposition parties in Denmark have also called for the border to be reopened to Germany. Due to the coronavirus situation in Scandinavia, Denmark and Norway are reluctant to include Sweden in tourism.
Unlike its Scandinavian neighbors, Sweden did not impose a lockdown and the country’s Covid-19 death toll is by far the highest in the region (4.542 per June 4). Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell claims that Sweden is further along in the infection curve and that could actually make citizens a safer bet. “When we get to summer, it might be the case that we have so many people in Sweden who are immune that it could be safer for Swedes to go abroad than others,” he told TT.
This year Scandinavians plan for domestic summer holidays
The statement is based on the assumption that exposure to the coronavirus grants immunity against re-infection, something the World Health Organization has warned is not a certainty. In addition to a higher level of infection in Sweden, the country also have a lower level of testing and tracing than its Scandinavian neighbors.
Danes and Norwegians are not yet advised to travel to Southern Europe for their holidays since a 10-day quarantine apply to all people returning from abroad and no-entry to most non-Scandinavians who do not have right to live and work in Denmark and Norway.
Cannot reopen borders too suddenly
At a joint video news conference, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said, ““We do not wish to maintain the restrictions longer than we have to, and at the same time we want to give people as well as the travel industry in this country as much predictability as we can. However, we can’t open too suddenly, that would jeopardize everything we’ve accomplished”.
While the governments are encouraging domestic tourism this summer, the exclusion of foreign tourists without offering substantial financial support to travel firms will most likely trigger a string of bankruptcies, warns the enterprise federations.
Coronavirus: Denmark and Norway Reluctant to include Sweden in Tourism
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said that excluding Sweden from moves to open borders across the Nordic region would be a political decision and not justifiable on health grounds.
In comments reported by Swedish TV, she said Sweden had hoped for a common Nordic solution but it was impossible.
Read more about the Corona pandemic in the Nordic region.
Coronavirus: Denmark and Norway Reluctant to include Sweden in Tourism, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): Daniel Norin/Unsplash