Dear Denmark: ‘We are denied the right to be with who we love’

The campaign group 'Lovers separated by border closures during coronavirus' has written an open letter to Denmark's government. The Local publishes it here in full.

Dear Denmark: 'We are denied the right to be with who we love'
Melinda Schneider (left) in Canada was one of the authors of the letter. Photo: private
The letter was written to accompany a citizen's proposal sent to the Danish government last Wednesday, which has so far received nearly 2,500 signatures. 
Dear Government of Denmark,
It is with heavy hearts that we write to you now regarding the newly announced policy made on Friday, May 29th, 2020 regarding the border reopening plan. We are writing this letter on behalf of our peers, all of us in the joint Facebook group entitled “Kærester Adskilt af Grænselukningen Under Coronavirus”, and on behalf of all those who have yet to find us. We write because we are unable, despite our fundamental needs as human beings, to be with those who we love, which we need now more than ever as we are in a time of crisis and global uncertainty.
We share the joint mission and dream of being reunited with our loved ones inside the Danish border. We almost felt that dream come true last week, on May 20th, 2020, when the Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, announced that the borders were opening to romantic partners outside of Denmark. However, that feeling of relief after what has been a gut-wrenching time full of heartache and uncertainty was quickly taken away the next morning when the clarification made its way into the news: this decision only applied to those who live in Germany or the Nordic countries. 
While we understand the seriousness of the public health threat that the coronavirus causes, we are unable to understand what scientific, and health-based evidence has caused the government to make this decision. We are having difficulty understanding what makes us different, in terms of infection pressure, from the spouses, life partners, and children who come from the same countries as us. We are a small group, only a few hundred, who are in connection to Denmark. We are lovers separated all over the world, and we are being denied our basic human rights to be with those who we love in the free world. Our love knows no boundaries.
We are willing to get tested upon arrival and/or quarantine ourselves for 14 days if that is what it takes. The risk is not higher than accepting thousands of tourists from Germany, Norway, and Iceland. We are those with loved ones in Denmark, whose families have been ripped apart due to the lack of a marriage license, with both unborn children, and children who are missing a parent; we are those who have plans to make Denmark our home. We are those who are unable to feel the comfort of the physical embrace of our loved ones, in the time where comfort is more important than ever. All of this is our reality – and it is our reality with no end in sight. However, you have the power to change this. 
It is our utmost hope that you will take into consideration the consequences of forcing couples apart, simply on the basis that they do not come from the “right” country. It is important for the mental health of all international couples involving Danish residents, not just those from Germany and the Nordic countries, to be able to see those we love. Long-distance relationships are not easy by nature, and the uncertainty of the restrictions has been unbearable for the last few months. We hope you will consider easing the border restrictions for our group, or at the very least ease our uncertainty by giving us a definitive date on when we may be reunited. We will say it again, one last time to ensure that you are aware of what it is that we are fighting for: “love knows no boundaries.” 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
The Members of Kærester Adskilt af Grænselukningen Under Coronavirus

Member comments

  1. Ah, how sad! How pathetic, actually! “on behalf of all those who have yet to find us. We write because we are unable, despite our fundamental needs as human beings, to be with those who we love, which we need now more than ever as we are in a time of crisis and global uncertainty” Three months without getting laid and these spoiled people can’t take it, to the point they need to create a ‘group’ to whine about it. One wonders what they would have done during the last world wars when husbands and wives went off to war for very long stretches and many did not return. Are their lives so shallow that depression sets in if not with their mate for a whole 3 months! Hey, lets’ have a rally, lets protest, let’s virtue signal, for how can we cope…..So sad to think, with all the turmoil in the world today that people feel THEIR needs MUST be met. Go get a life for crying out sakes!

  2. What a nasty comment, Luigi. Free movement is a basic human right. Love is THE most important thing in life. These closed borders have tremendously destructive influence on different aspects of life, including this one. These impacts must be considered when weighing whether such measures are worth while or not.

  3. People are not just separated from their long-time partners (which is difficult enough to cope with and has nothing to do with “getting laid”), but because of these regulations there are children and families missing one parent and upcoming parents who are about to miss the birth of a child.

    It’s also not just “3 whole months”. Most of us haven’t seen our partners in over 3 months already. (Over four months in my case.) We survived that. We weren’t blind. We saw the state of the pandemic and waited patiently for the situation to improve. But now that it has and when most of Europe is slowly opening borders again, Denmark chooses to postpone our reunions until “after summer”. If there was any logic behind this decision and indeed IF our travels would cause risk of the virus spreading more in Denmark, we would be more understanding. But there isn’t any logic here. We wouldn’t be spreading the virus because we are all happy to get tested and self-quarantine.

    Denmark will soon be letting in tourists from Germany, Norway and Iceland over our much smaller group of individuals with much stronger connections to the country. Those tourists will be traveling around doing tourist-y things. They won’t self-quarantine, but we would.

    Denmark even already acknowledges that partners are a different category from tourists, allowing exceptions for Germans and other Scandinavians already (using a special form for proof of partnership). Yet the only way for me to see my fiancée this summer would be for her to end up on the intensive care in the hospital. Then I’m suddenly “family” enough to come say goodbye to her. At the same time, a German tourist from just over the border to my east (I’m from the Netherlands) has no problem just booking a vacation anywhere in Denmark except for Copenhagen.

    Even if you disagree with us about the regulations doing more harm than good, I hope you can understand how bizarre and demoralizing this feels to all those who are affected by them.

  4. Correction: as it turns out, not even terminal illness is considered a valid reason to allow a partner in. We’re just allowed to visit the funeral. This sickens me to my stomach. 🙁

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