Norway likely to advise against travel to Danish regions after Covid-19 outbreak
An increase in coronavirus cases, including in Denmark’s second-largest city Aarhus, is likely to result in neighbouring Norway upscaling its travel guidelines.
Norway is likely to class Denmark’s Central Jutland (Midtjylland) and the Zealand region (which does not include Copenhagen) as a ‘red’ area when it next updates official travel guidelines.
That comes after the Norwegian health authority NIPH on Monday recommended the change to the country’s government.
Norwegians will be thereby advised against travelling to Central Jutland and Zealand and people arriving in Norway from the regions will be asked to quarantine for 10 days.
NIPH confirmed the recommendations in a statement via its website.
Central Jutland currently has an infection rate over the threshold for Norway’s ‘red’ travel advisory. This is primarily due to an outbreak in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city.
Aarhus contributed 40 of the 76 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Denmark on Monday, following 78 cases (out of 128 nationwide) from Saturday to Sunday and 79 (out of 169) the previous day.
The Zealand town of Ringsted has contributed a large number of cases to increasing infection numbers in that region, after an abattoir in the town was forced to close temporarily following an outbreak amongst employees.
Capital city Copenhagen, which is part of a separate Hovedstaden (Capital) region for healthcare administration, would not be encompassed by a travel advisory against the Zealand region.
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The Norwegian Institute for Public Health (NIPH) regularly updates its list of EEA and Schengen area countries which meet and do not meet the country's criteria for safe travel. Health authorities base their recommendations on figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the EU agency monitoring the data.
Once a country is ‘red', the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against travel that is not strictly necessary to that country, and self-quarantine is required for travellers returning or arriving from it. This also means people cannot travel from 'red' countries to Norway for tourism.
For fellow Nordic countries, Norway's health authorities judge on a regional basis, so parts of a country can be rated 'green' if the rate of new coronavirus infections is less than 20 cases per 100,000 people, meaning Norwegian residents can travel there even if the rate for the country as a whole qualifies it as ‘red'.
This is already applicable to Sweden. The Swedish regions of Kalmar, Värmland, Örebro, Östergötland, Blekinge, Dalarna, Södermanland, Uppsala and Västerbotten are currently ‘green' while the rest of the country is ‘red'.
Denmark’s Central Jutland (Midtjylland) and Zealand regions are likely to be given the ‘red’ designation by the foreign ministry later this week, when the official travel guidelines are updated.
The infections figure for Central Jutland is currently 42.3 per 100,000 residents and for Zealand 26.5 per 100,000 residents.
In addition to the two Danish regions, NIPH has also recommended that the Norwegian government change Swedish regions Östergötland, Blekinge, Dalarna, Värmland, Örebro and Uppsala to red.
Iceland, the Faroe Islands, the Netherlands, Poland, Malta and Cyprus are also all included in the Norwegian health authority’s latest recommendations for ‘red’ countries.