Denmark introduces rapid Covid-19 tests at German borders

Smaller land border crossings with Germany are to offer travellers rapid Covid-19 tests on crossing into Denmark, while a rapid test centre is also available south of the border.

Denmark introduces rapid Covid-19 tests at German borders
Photo: Frank Cilius/Ritzau Scanpix

People at smaller border crossings on Denmark’s southern border with Germany are to be offered a rapid Covid-19 test so they can comply with travel restrictions.

The South Denmark health authority announced that it has reached agreement with a private contractor, Falck, to offer rapid tests for people travelling from Germany to Denmark.

Foreign nationals not resident in Denmark can also be tested for free if they can show proof they work in Denmark, the regional health authority said.

As such, rapid tests are available at the Falck test centre in German border district Handewitt. Opening times can be found here.

A mobile test centre will also offer rapid tests at border crossings at Pebersmark, Sæd and Møllehus. Operating times here.

The deal between Region South Denmark and Falck provides for free rapid tests for foreign nationals who live outside of Denmark if they can prove they work in Denmark. Others must pay 299 kroner (€40).

“It is important for us that we can offer a good solution to the many commuters who cross the border each day to work in Denmark,” Region South Denmark director Kurt Espersen said in a statement.

“If they take a rapid test south of the border, they can take a PCR test once they have entered (Denmark) which is then valid for 7 days until it must be renewed,” he said, referring to rules which allow people living in border regions to enter Denmark with a negative Covid-19 test from within the last seven days, if they have a valid reason for travel.

That exception aside, current rules require foreign, non-resident nationals entering Denmark to present a negative Covid-19 test no more than 24 hours old.

The rules have already resulted in large numbers being refused entry at borders with Germany.

READ ALSO: Denmark to test all positive Covid-19 swabs for infectious variants

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Struggling Scandinavian carrier SAS gets $700m loan

Ailing Scandinavian airline SAS, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in early July, said Sunday it had secured a 700-million-dollar loan.

Struggling Scandinavian carrier SAS gets $700m loan

The move follows a crippling 15-day pilot strike, also in July, that cost the carrier between $9 and $12 million a day.

The pilots were protesting against salary cuts demanded by management as part of a restructuring plan aimed at ensuring the survival of the company.

READ ALSO: SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

SAS said it has entered “into a debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing credit agreement for $700 million with funds managed by Apollo Global Management”.

SAS had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and said the “DIP financing, along with cash generated from the company’s ongoing operations, enables SAS to continue meeting its obligations throughout the chapter 11 process”.

“With this financing, we will have a strong financial position to continue supporting our ongoing operations throughout our voluntary restructuring process in the US,” SAS board chairman Carsten Dilling said.

SAS management announced in February the savings plan to cut costs by 7.5 billion Swedish kronor ($700 million), dubbed “SAS Forward”, which was supplemented in June by a plan to increase capital by nearly one billion euros ($1.04 billion).

Denmark and Sweden are the biggest shareholders with 21.8 percent each.

“We can now focus entirely on accelerating the implementation our SAS FORWARD plan, and to continue our more than 75-year legacy of being the leading airline in Scandinavia.”

SAS employs around 7,000 people, mainly in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It has suffered a string of losses since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.