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Denmark to let residents' lovers cross border 'soon': Justice Minister

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark to let residents' lovers cross border 'soon': Justice Minister
Nick Hækkerup said that a decision could be made 'soon'. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark's justice minister has signalled that the government may soon open the way for the last cross-border couples to be reunited.

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When asked in parliament on Wednesday when partners of Danish residents who live outside the EU and the UK, would be able to cross the border, Nick Hækkerup said the the government would work to ease the restrictions "soon" and "without unnecessary delay". 
 

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Asked what "soon" meant, he said that July 1 "seemed a long time away". 
 
Denmark's government is expected today to announce new "objective criteria", through which it will judge which countries' citizens can safely travel to Denmark.  
 
However, the issue of cross-border couples was not mentioned in the notice released ahead of the planned meeting of the parliament's foreign policy committee. 
 
Under the current rules the boyfriends, girlfriends and fiancé(e)s of Danish residents cannot cross the border unless they are residents of the EU or the UK, meaning those with partners in the US, Canada, Australia and a host of other countries remain separated. 
 
As he arrived at Thursday's meeting, foreign minister Jeppe Kofod said that the objective criteria had already been decided. 
 
"We are looking at a sound way that can open up for entry and exit," he said. 
 
Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, leader of the opposition Liberal party, said that he hoped the rules would take the decisions over which countries in Europe to open borders to out of the hands of ministers. 
 
"I hope that we can open up to as many countries as it is reasonable to," he said. "That is why I am pleased that we can now hopefully present objective criteria for what it takes to change travel advice for a country, and not [have to rely on] some gut feeling on the part of the Prime Minister". 
 
 

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