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Danish Prime Minister ready to discuss further border openings

The Danish Government is ready to set-up criteria for which countries are evaluated as safe enough to allow visits in Denmark.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

During the parliamentary session today, Mette Frederiksen said that she is prepared to further open Danish borders with countries evaluated as safe.

“In the Danish Government we want to set a series of objective criteria for when a country is considered safe enough to allow its citizens to visit Denmark. In other words, if the spread of the virus within the country in question is at an acceptable level, we are prepared to open our borders with that country”.

The statement comes after the Danish Government is put under pressure from other members of parliament who do not understand by which criteria the Danish Government has decided to close or open its borders when other European countries are opening theirs.

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Mette Frederiksen said that she would discuss the issue during a meeting in the Foreign Policy Commission ( Udenrigspolitisk nævn), which consists of members from all the parties in parliament. The next meeting takes place on Wednesday prior to the EU meeting on Thursday.

“This ( Editor’s note: having objective criteria) will make it easier to open for travel into and out of Denmark while continuing to have things under control in the country, “she said during the questioning session in parliament.

Every Tuesday the Danish Government participates in a session where all political parties in parliament can ask questions about the present government’s policies.

The Danish travel restrictions, at present in place until 31 August, except with Norway, Iceland and Germany, could be eased sooner according to Mette Frederiksen.

The Danish Government has said it will ease restrictions while continuing to apply a principle of extreme care (forsigtighedsprincip).

Interestingly, she referred to a situation to prove her point, namely that in the beginning of June, six Danish citizens travelling from Pakistan had arrived infected with the virus.

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“This means that we have to be careful about what we do (Editor’s note: In reference to opening the borders).”

She underlined that the border openings would be with other EU and Schengen countries, as well as the UK, to start with and should spread rise in one of the countries Denmark had opened its border with, new temporary travel restrictions could be put in place.

Political analysts have said that the Danish Government is under pressure from the rest of the EU to open is borders which currently are amongst the most restricted in the EU and Schengen area.