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COVID-19

Sweden to restrict travel from Denmark ahead of Christmas holidays

Sweden is set to introduce travel restrictions from the Nordic countries ahead of Christmas over concerns of a rising number of Covid infections.

A Swedish border guard at the Øresund Bridge in December 2020. Sweden is set to reintroduce restrictions on travel from Denmark.
A Swedish border guard at the Øresund Bridge in December 2020. Sweden is set to reintroduce restrictions on travel from Denmark. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

From December 21st, people travelling to Sweden from Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland will be required to show a valid Covid pass, reports Swedish news agency TT.

“We’re seeing an increased spread of infection in Europe but also in our neighbouring countries, and in Sweden a Covid pass is currently required for entry from all countries apart from the Nordics,” Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson told TT on Thursday.

Under current Swedish rules, all arrivals must show either an EU vaccine certificate or a vaccine certificate from a so-called “approved” country, alternatively a negative test no older than 72 hours or proof of recovery from Covid-19 – the exact rules depend on which country you’re travelling from, and some categories of travellers are exempt from the rules.

Currently, everyone travelling from Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland is also exempt from the entry rules.

But from December 21st, the Covid pass rules will apply to the Nordic countries too.

Sweden currently has the lowest rate of new Covid-19 infections in the Nordics. It has one of the lowest testing rates, but it also has a comparatively low number of hospitalisations. The number of new cases is on a sharp increase in Sweden, however.

8,773 new Covid-19 infections in total were registered in Denmark on Wednesday, a new record for the pandemic. 508 people are in hospital, 10 more than on Tuesday and the first time since February that the total has exceeded 500.

The number of cases of the Omicron variant increased by 1,512 to reach a running total of 6,047.

Norway saw 5,741 new Covid-19 cases registered on Wednesday, 482 more than the same day the week before. 

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SAS

Crisis-stricken airline SAS records heavy losses

Troubled Scandinavian airline SAS, which has filed for bankruptcy in the United States, reported deeper losses in the fourth quarter on Wednesday.

Crisis-stricken airline SAS records heavy losses

Net losses amounted to more than 1.2 billion Swedish kronor ($117 million) in the August-October period, compared to a loss of 744 million kronor a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

“As with previous quarters in 2022, the currencies (foreign exchange) and jet-fuel price have brought strong headwinds for our business,” said SAS chief executive Anko van der Werff.

The airline, however, saw the “highest number” of passengers since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, with healthy demand in the summer, van der
Werff said.

The airline, which cut 5,000 jobs in 2020, is preparing for “substantial recruitments and rehirings” to meet the expected increase in demand next
summer, he added.

SAS filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the United States in July — a move allowing a company to restructure its debts under court
supervision.

Van der Werff said the airline expected to complete the court-supervised process during the second half of 2023.

Earlier this year, The airline posted a net loss of 1.84 billion kronor ($170 million) for the May-July period, compared to a loss of 1.33 billion kronor a year earlier.

Earnings were “severely affected” by the 15-day pilot strike between July 4th-19th, which led to the cancellation of some 4,000 flights affecting more than 380,000 passengers, the company said in a statement.

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