Starting Monday 15 June, Norway will welcome travellers from other Nordic countries except Sweden as it dismantles some cross-border travel restrictions.
According to the Norwegian government, the coronavirus epidemic in Finland, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland is so well under control that there is no further need to restrict travel from these countries. The only exception to the relaxed rules has been Sweden with Oslo opting to retain curbs on cross-border travel with the Swedes.
Last Thursday Finland announced that it would also ease some border restrictions, including ending border checks at the Norwegian border from Monday 15 June. Visitors arriving in Finland from Norway will no longer automatically be required to enter quarantine for 14 days. Norway has now reciprocated and visitors travelling to Norway from Finland will also not be required to quarantine upon arrival.
Re-opened border "feels good"
The restrictions on cross-border travel have adversely affected the earnings of businesses operating on the border with Norway. Kilpishalli, a shopping centre located in the border town of Kilpisjärvi, reported that more than 90 percent of its revenues comes from Norway.
Merchants operating in the border region said that they were incredulous when the border closed to all but essential travel three months ago.
"We only understood it the following weekend, when there was not a single customer on the compound, not even by midday. It was a bit of a shock," store owner Mikko Rousu said.
By the same token, the re-opening of the border also seemed too good to be true, he added.
"This does feel good but I won’t believe it before Monday when the first customers come. When there is a queue at the cashier then I’ll believe it," Rousu said.