Coronavirus: Denmark turns away 149 travellers after closing border

Coronavirus: Denmark turns away 149 travellers after closing border
A police officer controls a car driver at the Danish border in Moellehus, Denmark, on March 14, 2020: AFP
149 people have been rejected at the border in southern Jutland since the borders closed on Saturday, according to South Jutland Police.
Denmark effectively closed its borders at midday on Saturday, in a move aimed at stemming the fight of the coronavirus. The borders will remain closed until April 13th, the government has said.

South Jutland Police tweeted on Sunday that they have checked 3748 people at the Danish-German border and rejected 149.

At border crossings in Southern Jutland, at airports, ports and other places where people travel from abroad, there are extensive border checks to ensure compliance with the restrictions.

Certain categories of people notably those who live and work in Denmark are still be able to enter. Travellers will be turned away if they can't show that they have a legitimate reason to be there, for example that they are Danish citizens or foreign nationals living and working in the country.

Expatriated Danish soldiers are not allowed to return to Denmark on leave until March 30th.

On Saturday, Copenhagen Police said that 13 people had been rejected at the Øresund bridge but there had been no refusals at Copenhagen airport.  

There has been some concern from the tourism industry over the sudden closure of the borders.

The CEO of Feriehusudlejernes Brancheforening (The Holiday Homes Rentals Association) has said the closure will mean German holidaymakers must cancel 1.4 million nights in holiday homes until mid April. 

Tønder's mayor Henrik Frandsen described the situation as deeply serious for the tourism and business of the town, which relies on those visiting from south of the border.

As of Saturday, Denmark has 827 confirmed cases of coronavirus and no deaths. According to the Worldometers website, this is the fourth highest per capita number of infections worldwide after Italy, Norway and South Korea. There are also nine confirmed cases in the Faroe Islands but no cases in Greenland.

Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed its travel advisory so that the entire world is classed as 'orange'. This means it now recommends against unnecessary travel to any other country.

Danish citizens currently abroad are encouraged to return to the country immediately. 

“If you are already abroad, you should return home as quickly as possible,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said at the press conference on Friday, stressing that this advice only applied to Danes travelling, and not those permanently resident abroad. 

At Friday's press conference, the government also announced that hospitals in the country would stop carrying out all normal medical procedures to concentrate on essential and emergency medical care and treating those infected with the virus. 

Danish public broadcaster DR have provided a list of which categories of people will be allowed to cross the border. 

They include: 

  • Danish citizens 
  • Those working or living in Denmark
  • Those delivering good to Denmark
  • Those collecting goods from Denmark 
  • Those with visitation rights to children in Denmark
  • Those visiting extremely sick family members in Denmark 
  • Other reasons for visiting will be assessed on a case by case business
  • Ordinary visits to family members will not be a sufficient reason to enter Denmark

 

 


Member comments

  1. As at 23.00 on 13 March the position is unclear. No advice from UK Foreign Office or British Airways , and hotel staff in Copenhagen are unable to confirm. The reports of travel bans ‘to and from’ after noon on 14 March seem to suggest tourists will be unable to leave for at least a month after then. Since it is unclear, we have booked a last minute flight out via Air France before the noon deadline, just to be sure.

  2. How are ‘visitation rights to children in Denmark’ defined? My wife works in Denmark and our daughter attends a Danish school (now disrupted, of course). None of us is a Danish citizen, and I live and and work in the UK. What kind of documents/evidence do I need to enter the country? Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

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