EU Countries Are Opening Borders – Not for Sweden
Discussions about the Swedish model have been going on since March. In mid-June, Sweden’s neighbors and EU partners gave the country an indirect but unequivocal assessment: they decided not to open the borders with this Scandinavian country yet, although Europe is in full swing restoring free movement within the European Union and the Schengen area.
So, since June 15, Germany has removed restrictions on travel of its residents to all EU states with one single exception: Sweden. The country does not comply with current epidemiological criteria. According to official Swedish statistics from June 11, the number of people infected rose per day by a record 1,474 people, which local authorities consider « a direct result of extended testing. » As a result, the total number of cases in the country with a population of 10 million amounted to 48,300, and the number of deaths reached 4,814. « In terms of per capita, this is significantly more than in neighboring northern European countries, but less than in especially affected Spain, Britain and Italy » – Reuters indicates.
So far, even the country’s immediate Scandinavian neighbors do not want to open the borders for the Swedes. At the end of May, Denmark announced that from June 15 on certain conditions it will allow tourists from Germany, Norway and Iceland, but not from Sweden. Finland followed, although it is connected with its western neighbor by very close relations in various fields, and on Friday, June 12, Norway took a similar step. Such a tourist country as Austria is also fencing itself off from the Swedes.
A separate « vote of no confidence » in the Swedish model of combating coronavirus was made by three federal states in northern Germany. The authorities of Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein at the beginning of the week decided that all residents of these regions, who returned home after staying in Sweden, must immediately register with the health authorities and go to self-isolation and quarantine for two weeks.
On June 3, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell acknowledged the fallacy of his approach to the fight against coronavirus, which implied a rejection of the lockdown.