The Norwegian government has announced that at 3 pm today, the rules for entering Norway will change. The requirement to sit in home quarantine for people who have been fully vaccinated has been abolished.
Thus, many Norwegians can travel to Sweden and return home for free without being forced to sit in quarantine. Many Norwegians who own country houses in Sweden can look after their property again. But the happiest people may be the border traders on the Swedish side who are now hoping for customers to return.
Norwegian license plates
Nordby shopping center near the border opened as usual in the morning. And from his window, Ståle Lövheim was already able to see several cars with Norwegian license plates.
In total, there are about 1.3 million Norwegians who meet the criteria to avoid entering quarantine.
Lofheim says he can see many cars bearing Norwegian signs from his window, but it is impossible to say how many cars will be there during the day and how many over the weekend. The border was closed on March 12, 2020 and since then, with a few brief exceptions, there has been a slump in trade along the Norwegian border.
Now traders see the light in the tunnel.
– We’re really looking forward to it and working hard to give the Norwegians what to expect, says Lofheim.
Kitchen chaos at the border crossings
Rescue Service Director Tun Fangen of the Police Directorate on Thursday already warned of chaos at border crossings. The police will continue to screen everyone who enters Norway again.
Norwegian quarantine rules have affected Swedes working in Norway. And only after talks between Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Sweden’s Stefan Lofven can the rules for day travelers be relaxed earlier this year. And now comes another step of comfort.
But at the same time, there is concern that the increasing spread of infection in Värmland, with many confirmed cases of the so-called delta boom, will lead to Norway imposing new and stricter restrictions on border crossings there.
– This is a step forward. But in our region of Värmland, we’ve seen an increase in infections. We fear that Norwegians will go back to the system they had before, and that you will have to be below a certain infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants to have open borders, says Matthias Bornstedt, who lives in Arvika and works as a Norwegian-language machine operator. Kongsvinger.