Traffic over the border to Sweden increased by 18,000 vehicles over the weekend, after Norwegians finally were allowed to drive to the neighbouring region of Värmland. Everyone returning, mostly from shopping trips, is still being stopped and questioned as state officials try to retain control over Corona infection rates.
Drivers and their passengers are asked to report where they’ve been, and if they’ve ventured into regions still categorized with high infection rates, they’re ordered into quarantine for 10 days.
It’s all based on trust, admit police and customs agents who acknowleged that it’s difficult to track or confirm anyone’s movements within Sweden. The vast majority, however, only drove over the border to stock up on much cheaper beverages, tobacco and other groceries, according to newspaper Aftenposten, which like other media carried numerous photos of Norwegians wheeling large shopping carts loaded with cartons of soft drinks out of stores in the Swedish border towns of Charlottenberg and Töcksfors. High taxes on sugar and carbonation in Norway make drinks like Pepsi and Coke much more expensive than elsewhere.