COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark said on Thursday it would allow entry to citizens from most European nations with a low number of COVID-19 infections from June 27 – two months earlier than originally planned, including some two million people from hard-hit nearby Sweden.
FILE PHOTO: Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod (L) talks to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo
European Union member states, non-EU countries in the open-border Schengen area such as Norway and also Britain, which is in neither grouping, will be individually assessed based on objective criteria, the Danish Foreign Ministry said.
Considering the current number of COVID-19 infections in various countries, this would mean Denmark will allow unrestricted entry once again to people from Britain and all EU and Schengen countries except Portugal and Sweden, Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup told reporters.
The Foreign Ministry said a country was being classified as “open” for travel links with Denmark if it had fewer than 20 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
Sweden as a whole would not qualify at present, but people from some regions in its south, which have seen far fewer infections than in the capital region of Stockholm, will be permitted to enter Denmark as well.
When Norway and Denmark, having curbed their coronavirus outbreaks, reopened their borders to each other earlier this month they excluded Sweden, where the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths remains higher.
At the time, Sweden said the move by its Nordic neighbours was a political decision not justifiable on health grounds.
When Denmark opened its border to Germany, Iceland and Norway in May, it said restrictions on travels elsewhere would be in place until August 31.
“We are in a significantly better place in Denmark than we had dared to hope just a short time ago. Therefore we can now relax the travel guidance,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said.
Travellers will only be allowed to enter Denmark on condition that they book at least six nights’ accommodation.
Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard, Stine Jacobsen and Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Mark Heinrich