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Denmark eases travel restrictions to Sweden and Greenland

The strict limitations that have been in place are now slowly being eased

  • July 18, 2020 12:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium oresund bridge view from sweden
Source: Mattias Hill / CC BY-SA 3.0

Sweden has been the black sheep of the EU during the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s nontraditional approach to restrictions (or the lack thereof) and the attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 by counting on citizens to resist social urges in order to not impose a full-on lockdown, as other European states, has ultimately backfired.

Not only did the strategy fail at saving lives but it also failed at preventing an economic downturn and greatly strained the relationship between Sweden and its neighbours. When Denmark and Norway first began lifting border restrictions, they froze out Stockholm due to its handling of the spread of COVID-19 and the country’s refusal to impose stricter measures.

Winds of change blowing

Yet with the entirety of Europe already appearing as if it can properly handle and monitor the spread of the disease, Denmark and Sweden have also embarked on a journey of rapprochement that will ultimately see the two countries once again sharing a fully open border.

The latest change in the Danish government’s guidelines includes adjustments to the Foreign Ministry’s discouragement policy. The three latest Swedish regions to which travel is no longer actively discouraged are Halland, Kalmar and Värmland. Over the last few weeks, the ministry has also reallowed travel to the regions of Västerbotton, Kronoberg, Skåne and Blekinge.

The regular updates by the Danish Foreign Ministry are based on weekly updates on the epidemiological situation in Sweden. So far, however, authorities in Copenhagen maintain the stance that unnecessary travel to Sweden, in general, is still not the best of ideas as the number of cases continues to rise.

The latest change to travel policies also includes the lifting of restrictions for visiting Greenland. The cap of 600 people entering the region per week is being removed and the requirement for a mandatory 5-day home quarantine upon arrival will also no longer be in effect.

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