Wednesday 9/23/20

Sweden exceeds new virus case limit to allow unrestricted travel

The neighboring country has already exceeded the new threshold of 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks imposed by the government to be able to travel to Finland without restrictions, Norway is close to doing it too.

Sweden exceeds new virus case limit to allow unrestricted travel

It only took only one day.

On Friday 11 September the Finnish authorities announced the increase in the limits for the entry of foreign tourists and stressed that Swedes, Germans and Norwegians would be able to come without the obligation of self-quarantine or testing. But on Saturday Sweden already exceeded the new threshold. And Norway is about to do the same.

The new general rule is that from Saturday 19 September restrictions on entry will be lifted between Finland and the countries where the incidence of new cases does not exceed 25 infections per 100,000 inhabitants during the previous 14 days.

Until now, the limit value has been 8 cases (sometimes 10) per 10,000 inhabitants, a limit that only a dozen of countries in the world met and therefore led to a self-isolation that is causing irreparable damage to the Finnish economy, sinking entire sectors such as tourism, air and sea transport.

Government announced on Friday with great fanfare that as of Saturday 19 September, restrictions on entry would be lifted between Finland and Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Germany and Cyprus, as well as for residents of Australia, Canada and Japan.

Virus incidence increasing

The problem is that since Friday two of the main countries of interest for Finnish tourism (Sweden and Norway) have already increased their incidence of the virus.

At the time of the announcement, Sweden had an incidence of 24 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the previous two weeks, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). 

On Sunday 13 September, just two days later, at the time of writing this article, the figure has already risen to 25.7, so the Swedes could no longer travel without restrictions.

Check the incidence by countries

Norway, which had an incidence of 22 cases per 100,000 on Friday, now already has 24.8 per 100,000 and is about to exceed the maximum threshold set by the Finnish Government.

The incidence in Germany has remained stable, with a minimum variation of +0.1 points.

The incidence of cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks for all the countries of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) can be consulted on the ECDC website HERE.