The 160 km long national border was fully opened at midnight Wednesday night. The physical barriers no longer exist, but many still need to be tested.
It will be much easier to cross the border, especially for those who live in the border areas, for people who have huts and hamlets on the Swedish side, and for people who work on one side of the border and live on the other side.
In Kornsjø, the opening of the border was marked by residents from the Swedish and Norwegian sides who gathered in the middle of the bridge to celebrate that a year and a half of involuntary separation finally ended, writes Halden Arbeiderblad.
Around 50 people had arrived with Swedish and Norwegian flags, on both sides of the border.
– It was completely incomprehensible. It is a condition that we never thought we would experience. So now we will just celebrate, says Lise Berit Grønberg, president of the Kornsjø wellness association and initiator of the reopening party.
The border between Norway and Sweden is the longest and oldest between two European countries and has remained unchanged since it was drawn up in the years before the treaty was signed in 1751, writes VG.
Not free yet
However, it is not completely free yet. The police will now only conduct random checks. However, there is still more preparation and entry restrictions are being phased out.
Citizens of the EEA, people from other countries residing in the EEA area, and people living in the UK and Switzerland can enter Norway.
Entry restrictions still apply to people living in all other countries, but with many exceptions, including fully vaccinated foreign students and family visits.
Check the rules
Truls-André Hjortnæs, Head of Traffic and Maritime Services in the Eastern Police District, advises all travelers to familiarize themselves with the rules and download the “Travel ready” app.
– People still have a responsibility to be careful, try to stay infection-free, not take the infection home and make sure they are familiar with the rules that apply to entry, he tells NRK.
Travelers with an obligation to take a test must take the test at the border where there is a test station. This applies to all airports with foreign traffic and on Svinesund and Storskog.
Those who arrive at a border crossing without a test station, and who are required to take the test, must arrive at Svinesund or another public test station no later than within 24 hours.
Not just Swedish trade
According to VG, the Mapping Authority operates with between 64 and 69 general border crossings between Norway and Sweden, that is, where there is a generally passable road.
Photographer Adrian Øhrn Johansen has documented the vast majority during the pandemic and says that it is not just cross-border trade and travel that depend on roads.
– I saw people delivering cattle on the Svinesund border. I remember the woman who was waiting for the husband from whom she was quarantined at the border line in Halden, and the family in Aremark who celebrated birthdays by gathering on opposite sides of the border and pushing gifts and plastic cups of drinks over the ” keel”. , as the Swedish border is called, he tells the newspaper.
His travels took place before Sweden reopened its borders with Norway on May 31. Now even more physical and invisible barriers are removed, and neighboring people can visit each other as before.