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Norwegian skis back from Sweden to avoid quarantine restrictions

A Norwegian who tried to ski around his country's virus quarantine system by skiing back from Sweden had to be rescued after bad weather thwarted his expedition, emergency services said on Monday.

Norwegian skis back from Sweden to avoid quarantine restrictions
View of the mountains in Åre, Sweden (archive). (Photo by OLIVIER MORIN / AFP)

“He wanted to return to Norway to get hold of some documents, and then go back into Sweden, where he has a construction project on the go,” Trond Helge Ronning of rescue group Norske Folkehjelp told AFP.

“But to avoid the quarantine, he decided to cross the border over the mountains,” said Ronning from Tydal, a village near the border with Sweden.

In all, it would have been a 40-kilometre (25-mile) journey over difficult terrain, he said.

But the adventurer, who is in his 50s, ran into bad weather after 25 kilometres of his trek on Saturday.

A local reindeer breeder rescued him, handing him over to two fishermen at a nearby lake, who looked after him until the rescue services arrived, said Ronning.

“He was soaked through and he was cold,” as well as being annoyed and unapologetic, said the rescue worker.

The rescue services took care of him — before handing him over to police for having violated the coronavirus quarantine rules.

Local police told AFP that the man should have got a negative Covid test to present to the authorities before making the crossing — and then spent 10 days in quarantine in a hotel.

“That’s valid even for a Norwegian citizen,” said a senior police official in the Trondelag district.

The man will now have to sit out his hotel quarantine before interviewed by officers.

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SAS

Struggling Scandinavian carrier SAS gets $700m loan

Ailing Scandinavian airline SAS, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in early July, said Sunday it had secured a 700-million-dollar loan.

Struggling Scandinavian carrier SAS gets $700m loan

The move follows a crippling 15-day pilot strike, also in July, that cost the carrier between $9 and $12 million a day.

The pilots were protesting against salary cuts demanded by management as part of a restructuring plan aimed at ensuring the survival of the company.

READ ALSO: SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

SAS said it has entered “into a debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing credit agreement for $700 million with funds managed by Apollo Global Management”.

SAS had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and said the “DIP financing, along with cash generated from the company’s ongoing operations, enables SAS to continue meeting its obligations throughout the chapter 11 process”.

“With this financing, we will have a strong financial position to continue supporting our ongoing operations throughout our voluntary restructuring process in the US,” SAS board chairman Carsten Dilling said.

SAS management announced in February the savings plan to cut costs by 7.5 billion Swedish kronor ($700 million), dubbed “SAS Forward”, which was supplemented in June by a plan to increase capital by nearly one billion euros ($1.04 billion).

Denmark and Sweden are the biggest shareholders with 21.8 percent each.

“We can now focus entirely on accelerating the implementation our SAS FORWARD plan, and to continue our more than 75-year legacy of being the leading airline in Scandinavia.”

SAS employs around 7,000 people, mainly in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It has suffered a string of losses since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

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