Norway holds fast to border rules after exemption requests

Norway holds fast to border rules after exemption requests
The head of Halden municipality wants residents to be able to travel to nearby Sweden without quarantine. Photo: Espen Aaeng/FLickr
Norway's government stuck fast to its hard line on border controls on Monday, rejecting a request from a town on Sweden's border and saying it had no plans to let Norwegians holiday on Spain's beaches.
As Spain's government on Monday announced planned to let in holiday makers from EU countries who have brought the coronavirus under control, Norway's government said Norwegians were unlikely to be among them. 
 
“There are no changes in our schedules as of now,” Justice Minister Monica Mæland said at the government's press conference on Monday afternoon, according to state broadcaster NRK
 
Norway's government is advising against unnecessary foreign travel until August 20, although from June 15 it may allow travel from its Nordic neighbours, and from July 20 from other neighbouring countries.
 
Shortly after downplaying the chances of Norwegians spending July on the Costa del Sol, the government dismissed a request from closer to home. 
 
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The municipality of Halden, just across the border from Svinesund in Sweden, sent a letter to Norway's Directorate of Health on Monday asking for its 31,000 citizens to be exempted from the need to spend 10 days in quarantine after travelling over to Sweden. 
 
 
“As a border municipality, we have many residents with various interests, both private and business, on the other side of the border, which is very close,” the municipality's top civil servant Roar Vevelstad wrote in the letter, according to a report in the VG newspaper. 
 
But Bent Høie, Norway's health minister told the municipality to wait for June 15. 
 
“There are exceptions today for those who are cross-border commuters, but we will not make exceptions to the current rules for traveling to Sweden for shopping,” he said. 
 
 

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