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Norden to further ease restrictions, Swedish situation concerned

Published : 26 Jun 2020, 22:03

  DF News Desk

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo. File Photo Finnish government by Lauri Heikkinen.

All the five Nordic countries share the freedom of cross-border movement as a central value and have the preparedness to ease gradually the current anti-COVID-19 restrictions, said Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo.

Ohisalo made the remarks Friday following a video meeting of Nordic ministers of the interior, reported Xinhua.

However, the more severe epidemic situation in Sweden still needs to be concerned. Finland could further tighten the controls on travel to Sweden if national-level health authorities so suggest, said the minister.

Regional health executives in northwestern Finland on Friday appealed in media for less travel across the land border to Sweden as COVID-19 is widespread on the Swedish side.

Ohisalo though said the government wants to hear the opinion of national health management, not only the regional.

All travel to and from Finland with the four Nordic countries, except Sweden, is currently free of any controls. Only work-related travel and other essential personal travel to and from Sweden are allowed by the Finnish government.

Ohisalo underlined that the government cannot prevent Finnish nationals from leaving and coming back, and thus an efficient reduction of travel would only be reached as the choice of citizens themselves.

She said the ministers also discussed the way the epidemic has worsened inequality among children in the Nordic countries. They had discussed a Nordic survey on child welfare in the wake of COVID-19.