Sweden to announce decision on potential Covid-19 travel restrictions

In a press conference later today, Sweden's health minister Jakob Forssmed and department head of the Public Health Agency, Sara Byfors, are expected to make an announcement on whether Sweden will introduce restrictions for travellers arriving from China.

Sweden to announce decision on potential Covid-19 travel restrictions
Health Minister Jakob Forssmed. File photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Yesterday, the EU’s crisis response mechanism (IPCR) recommended that member states start testing travellers arriving from China for Covid-19.

This recommendation is advisory and not legally binding, leaving it up to member states to decide whether to introduce tests or a testing requirement.

Earlier this week, Sara Byfors said that it is pointless if Sweden is the only country to introduce a negative test requirement.

Byfors and Forssmed are expected to announce whether Sweden will introduce a test requirement for travellers arriving from China in a press conference today at 9:30, which The Local will be covering.

Here’s our article from earlier this week going over what we know so far about the possible negative test requirement, and who it could affect.

China has lessened many of its Covid-19 restrictions in recent weeks. Next week, it will start producing passports for its citizens again, and the requirement to quarantine upon return to China will be removed.

However, there is still a high level of Covid-19 infection in the country, which has led multiple countries to introduce restrictions on travellers from China or plan to do so.

On Tuesday, China threatened to “take countermeasures”.

“This lacks a scientific basis and some methods are completely unacceptable,” said Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry.

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Öresund Bridge raises toll for single journeys between Sweden and Denmark

The Öresund Bridge on Thursday increased its toll for single journeys but said that new discount rates will be introduced.

Öresund Bridge raises toll for single journeys between Sweden and Denmark

The bridge’s operator Öresundsbron set out the changes to toll prices in a press statement on Tuesday.

“We are making it cheaper for those who travel with us the most and the price will go up for those who travel less,” Öresundsbron director of sales and marketing Berit Vestergaard said at a briefing on the price changes.

The toll price for a one-way crossing on the Öresund Bridge was raised to 645 Swedish kronor (440 Danish kroner) from the previous 610 kronor (415 kroner) on Tuesday, a 6 percent increase.

Discount offers for both private and business customers will provide bigger savings for frequent bridge users under the new price structure.

While the annual fee to register for one of the Öresund Bridge’s range of discount offers goes up from 495 Swedish kronor (335 Danish kroner) to 499 kronor(349 kroner), the price per journey falls by 6-7 percent or 8-12 kroner per journey.

A breakdown of the Öresund Bridge price changes in full. Photo: Öresundsbron

Increased prices on single trips allow the cost of a crossing for a discount customer to be reduced, Vestergaard said.

“We want to offer our customers a cheaper price and we are doing it at a time when many other things are becoming more expensive,” she said in the statement.

“It will simply be cheaper and easier to cross the Öresund with a discount offer. The price per journey will fall by around 7 percent,” she said.

Tuesday’s changes mean that motorists registered for discount offers will no longer need to carry an electronic tag to register at the toll. Instead, tolls will use number plate recognition. Cars must be registered on the Öresundsbron website.

Discount schemes for the bridge have been renamed under three categories: ÖresundGO, ÖresundPENDLER and ÖresundBUSINESS.