Travel restrictions eased, somewhat

Bookmark and Share

Norwegians could head into the three-day pinse holiday weekend considering at least a few new travel options this summer. The government has opened the door for business trips within the Nordic area from next week, and for holiday travel to Denmark from June 15, but no one will be allowed to spend the night in Copenhagen.

It was mighty empty at the ferry terminal in Oslo for the DFDS cruise ferry, just after Norway and Denmark closed their borders to contain the spread of the Corona virus. Now the ferries between Norway and Denmark can soon start sailing again, with DFDS already offering a departure on June 18. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no/Morten Møst

It’s good news for the ferry lines that traditionally have run between southern Norway and Denmark, especially Denmark’s northwestern region of Jylland. Beaches along Denmark’s western coast are popular with Norwegian tourists, as are historic towns like Skagen. “There will probably be some Norwegian families in Legoland this summer, too,” Solberg predicted at her government’s daily press conference Friday afternoon.

Visiting Norwegians, however, will need to present documentation of where in Denmark they intend to stay. Danish officials continue to ban tourists from spending the night in Copenhagen and its surrounding Frederiksberg region, according to Danish Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup,

He noted that they can, however, travel to and through Copenhagen, “see some sights and eat at a restaurant, but you need to spend the night somewhere else.” Denmark also plans to open its borders to Germany and take in visitors from Iceland, reported Danish newspaper Berlingske.

Borders to Sweden and Finland still closed
Solberg said that a new agreement between Norway and Denmark “means that Danish tourists can come to Norway and Norwegian tourists can travel to Denmark.” She cautioned, however, that tourists must familiarize themselves with the national regulations for travel and infection control in each country, since “these rules aren’t necessarily the same in Norway and Denmark.”

Another hitch is that border controls remain in place for Sweden. Only a business traveler will be able to avoid 10-day quarantine upon return from Sweden to Norway. Anyone else entering Norway from Sweden will still be subject to quarantine except, from June 15, Danish visitors traveling through Sweden. It remained unclear whether Norwegians returning from Denmark will be readmitted at border crossings from Sweden without being issued quarantine orders, mostly because of Sweden’s high infection rate.

Nordic travel ‘dialogue’ continues
Solberg said that her government was still “in dialogue” with Sweden, Finland and Iceland regarding a new travel agreement similar to that with Denmark. She said she’d hoped for an overall agreement applying throughout the Nordic area, “but we’re not there yet. ”

Agreement is needed among all the Nordic health care authorities, according to Solberg, over criteria to identify which regions have high infection levels. “Such regions should not be visited by tourists from other Nordic countries,” she said, “or admit those on holiday.”

Norway’s foreign ministry still advises against travel to any country that’s not considered strictly necessary, now with the exception of Denmark, at least until August 20. Svalbard, the Arctic archipelago under Norwegian administration, will also re-open to visitors from June 1st. Solberg has promised more updated travel information by June 15.

NewsInEnglish.no/Nina Berglund