What’s it like crossing the border between Sweden and Denmark now?

What's it like crossing the border between Sweden and Denmark now?
People queue for a Covid-19 test at Hyllie, the last train station before the Danish border. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
To travel into Denmark from Sweden you need a recent, negative coronavirus test and a 'worthy reason'. But how long does it take, and how strict are the Danish border police? Here's what Richard Orange experienced when he made the journey.

A smiling Danish border policeman came asking for papers and ID about halfway over the bridge to Denmark. 

I was worried that the crumpled print-out of a letter from an English newspaper wouldn’t be enough, but the policeman barely looked at it. 

All that really mattered, at least this time, was that I had a certificate showing a recent negative Coronavirus test, that I was a Swedish citizen, and that I claimed some sort of justification for crossing the border. “I’m a journalist,” I started to say, “I need to do an interview.”

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But as he wasn’t listening, I just showed my papers and he quickly went on down the carriage. 

All in all, the crossing was considerably easier than last May when I had to leave the train at Copenhagen Airport, go through a checkpoint and then rejoin the train five minutes later. 

The only thing that took time (and cost 300 kronor) was the need to get a negative antigen test in Hyllie, the last train station on the Swedish side. 

Scantest, which runs the biggest test centre, doesn’t have a map telling you where their test centre is on their website, and if you put the address they give you into Google Maps, it takes you to the wrong place, so I spend ten minutes walking around the bleak car parks around the Emporia shopping centre before I found it. 

The Scantest centre, made out of a couple of containerised office blocks with two tents attached is already looking fairly run-down, less than two months after it was set up, and the test certificates, written by hand in biro and then rubber-stamped seem fairly old-fashioned. 

It only took a few minutes after I arrived before a nurse jammed a swab up my nose, and about ten minutes further wait in the tent outside before my negative test result and certificate were ready. 

Half an hour after arriving in Hyllie, I was back on the train, and apart from flashing my test result and ID, no further test before getting off at Copenhagen Central. 

The way back to Sweden was easier still. A ticket inspector checked my train ticket, but no one checked my ID. Sweden is set to relax its entry ban on travel from Denmark from March 31st, but from my experience, the ban seems lightly enforced anyway. 

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  1. Mr. Orange, you didn’t bring up facemasks in the article. Was anyone wearing one, anywhere in this process?

    Were you?

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