Coronavirus measures are dividing Scandinavia. What is going on with the Swedish border?

SCIENCE NORWAY: For people living near the border between Norway and Sweden, moving between the two countries was part of everyday life. The border was something they rarely – if ever – thought about. Coronavirus measures have changed this, dividing families and causing unemployment in Swedish border municipalities .

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Photo: Karin Beate Nøsterud/

Norwegian anti-coronavirus measures have caused unemployment to rocket in the Swedish border town of Strömstad. Both Strömstad’s mayor and the municipal director of the Norwegian border town of Halden have requested a relaxation of border restrictions. So far, Norway’s central government has outright rejected their requests.

How is it that infection-control measures, which are considered absolutely essential by the central government, are encountering so much resistance locally? And why are local protests gaining so little understanding from the government?

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Written by Therese Sefton, Kristin Bergtora Sandvik and Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert.

Published Dec. 7, 2020 3:14 PM - Last modified Dec. 7, 2020 3:24 PM