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Queues on Øresund Bridge as Danes return from long weekend

Danes returning from a long weekend in Bornholm and holiday cottages in Skåne caused a 2km queue on Tuesday morning, adding to Swedes' irritation at being cut out a Nordic tourism deal.

Queues on Øresund Bridge as Danes return from long weekend
There was a 6km queue after Pentecost on May 24. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT/Scanpix
Copenhagen police reported the queue in a tweet at around 8am on Tuesday.  
 
The temporary border checks on the small artificial island of Peberholm (Pepparholm in Swedish), where the bridge over from Sweden turns into a tunnel, makes it much slower to get across the Öresund, meaning queues build up quickly whenever there is heavy traffic. 
 
“The police are in place and are trying to get people through the checks as quickly as possible,” security officer Thomas Hjermind told Ritzau at 9am. “The queue is 2km long. But the traffic is moving.”
 
The long weekend around Whit Sunday and Whit Monday in Denmark has meant that many have travelled into Sweden — some to get the ferry across to Bornholm, others to stay in summer cottages in Skåne and elsewhere. 
 
Police told Ritzau that the queue was mainly formed of Danes on their way back from holiday in Sweden, together with a few Swedish cross-border workers. 
 
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Since Denmark imposed border controls on March 14, Danes have been able to travel to Sweden unhindered while Swedes have only been allowed into Denmark if they have a “worthy purpose”. 
 
 
Danes are supposed to go into quarantine for 14 days on their return, but this is voluntary and it seems that few do. 
 
Last Friday, Denmark's government announced that it was ready to allow tourists from Norway, Germany and Iceland into the country, but not those from Sweden.
 
“It seems absolutely crazy. Total double standards,” Christer Mårtensson, 61, from Hjärup in Skåne told Denmark's BT tabloid. 
 
“If the authorities are so afraid of the Swedes being infected don't they think that the Danes can take the infection back with them?” he added. 
 
“It doesn't make sense. It's pure populism, and it seems as if Mette Frederiksen is just trying to improve her popularity on at home.” 
 
While Sweden as a whole has higher infection rates than Denmark, Region Skåne has a lower rate
than in Copenhagen area. 
 
According to Sweden's Kvällsposten newspaper, there have been 17.8 coronavirus-related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in Copenhagen, and just 13.3 in Skåne. 

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COVID-19

New Covid-19 wave in Sweden ‘to peak at end of September’

Sweden's Public Health Agency has warned of a new autumn wave of Covid-19 which it expects to peak at the end of September.

New Covid-19 wave in Sweden 'to peak at end of September'

According to both of the two new scenarios published by the agency on Monday, infection rates are set to rise steadily over the next month, something the agency said was due to a falling immunity in the population and greater contact between people as they return to schools and workplaces after the summer. 

“It is difficult to say how high the peak will be, but it is unlikely that it will reach the same levels as in January and February,” the agency’s unit chief Sara Byfors said in a press release. “The most important thing is that people in risk groups and those who are 65 years old and above get vaccinated with a booster dose in the autumn to reduce the risk of serious illness and death.” 

Under Scenario 0, the amount of contact between people stays at current levels, leading to a peak in reported Covid-19 cases at around 5,000 a day. In Scenario 1, contact between people increases by about 10 percent from the middle of August, leading to a higher peak of about 7,000 reported cases a day. 

The agency said that employers should be prepared for many staff to be off sick simultaneously at points over the next month, but said in its release that it did not judge the situation to be sufficiently serious to require either it or the government to impose additional infection control measures. 

It was important, however, it said, that those managing health and elderly care continued to test those with symptoms and to track the chain of infections, that people go and get the booster doses when they are supposed to have under the vaccination programme, and that those who have symptoms of Covid-19 stay home. 

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