Sweden in ‘intense dialogue’ with Denmark over border reopening

Sweden in ‘intense dialogue’ with Denmark over border reopening
Someone waves a Danish flag together with a Swedish flag at the opening of the Øresund Bridge in 2000. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix/AFP
Sweden has urged Denmark not to discriminate against them in its planned border reopening, during a “very intense dialogue,” foreign minister Ann Linde told TT News.

The Danish government will announce how it will reopen its borders by June 1st.

The official position of Denmark's ruling Social Democrat party is that the country should synchronise the reopening of its borders with Sweden, Norway and Germany, so that they all open at the same time.

However several Danish opposition parties only want to reopen the border to Norway and Germany but not Sweden.

“I certainly do not believe that one should delay opening the border with Germany until it is also considered justifiable to open the border with Sweden,” Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, leader of the opposition Liberal Party, told Denmark's state broadcaster DR.  

“If it's not justifiable from the health point of view to open the border to Sweden, then the Swedes can stay where they are.” 

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Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde took part in the EU Foreign Minister's meeting on Friday, which included travel restrictions within the EU. 

“On the Swedish side, we emphasise what the European Commission has also said, that there should not be discrimination against different countries, but that there is a common view when opening it,” Linde said.

Talking to TT News, she said, “we note things such as having much less spread of infection in Skåne compared to the so-called metropolitan region with Copenhagen, which many have also noted in Denmark.”

Danes are able to travel into Sweden but are strongly advised to spend 14 days in quarantine afterwards.

Sweden's Minister for Nordic Cooperation Anna Hallberg on Thursday said it would be “unfortunate” if Denmark instead decided to discriminate. 

“We would be very critical of that and that is something we have made clear,” she told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. “We do not think it is acceptable for one country to discriminate against another in terms of open borders in the internal market.”

On Thursday, Denmark's foreign minister Jeppe Kofod reiterated his government's position. 

“We have a dialogue with our neighbouring countries about entry restrictions and the border issue. We are still very concerned and very cautious,” he told DR. 
 
“We are in the process of new phases of the reopening, so there are a number of elements around it. But we will come up with an answer to that before June 1.”
 
There are more than 2,000 people in Sweden's hospital with the coronavirus, compared to 147 in Denmark, and 61 in Norway. As of Saturday, the death toll from the coronavirus was at 3674 in Sweden and 543 in Denmark.
 

Member comments

  1. Sweden’s borders are still open to all EU citizens and those outside the EU who have a residence permit and ahome in Sweden:

    > Does the entry ban affect travel within the EU?
    No, the entry ban does not affect travel from another EU country to Sweden.

    >What applies to those who have a residence permit in Sweden?
    Anyone who has a temporary or permanent residence permit in Sweden is exempted from the entry ban if the purpose of entry is to return home.

    From: https://www.regeringen.se/artiklar/2020/04/fragor-och-svar–inresestopp-till-eu-via-sverige/

  2. Hmm! I just found another article — “Coronavirus entry ban: Can residence permit holders still travel to Sweden?” — which might point the way to an answer, though from what I’ve read so far, I’m still not sure, since I don’t have a Swedish residence permit.

  3. Fair enough about Denmark, but what about Sweden? A while ago I read that they would be opening their border again on May 16, but I haven’t since anything since. I would think that if that were happening now, it would be big news. On the other hand, if the closure is extended, that should also be news. Yet I’ve seen nothing.

    Though I live in Denmark, I can see Sweden (Skåne) from my window. How do I find out if I’m allowed to go there?

  4. Funny, isn’t it? Sweden decided to ignore all the suggestions about closing cafés & Reataurants & enforced this & that, based on the fact that their population would self-regulate. Obviously many did, but also obviously a bunch didn’t. Now they are whining that they should have their borders reopened the same time as all the Countries around them that DID do everything possible to limit the spread, because to them that’s not right! What a bunch of hypocrites!

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