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Sweden's Foreign Ministry

Sweden Extends Advice Against International Travel Until Mid-July

Sweden's Foreign Ministry

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry has extended its recommendation to avoid non-essential overseas trips until July 15th, the government announced on Wednesday afternoon.

The advice was initially issued on March 14th for two months, but this is the second time it has been extended, and further extensions may still come, Foreign Minister Ann Linde warned.

She said that the advice was primarily linked to travel restrictions and the fast-changing global situation which could leave travellers stranded rather than the risks posed directly by the coronavirus.

“Quarantines are a reality in a large proportion of the countries of the world. The uncertainty is great. It’s not possible to predict when it will be possible to travel freely. This advice may be extended, or could be lifted before July 15th,” Linde warned.

The recommendation isn’t legally binding, so it’s still possible for individuals to travel although they would have to contend with significant reductions in flight traffic and quarantines for inbound travellers in many countries.

When the Foreign Ministry advises against travel, this also has an impact on things like travel insurance validity, so people who take a non-essential trip against the advice and find themselves stranded or in need of assistance may end up heavily out of pocket.

Linde also said that Sweden welcomed the European Commission’s guidelines on international tourism which were published today.

These included recommendations that face masks should be worn during travel, although Sweden’s Public Health Agency has expressed doubts over the effectiveness of such a measure.

“There is a risk for false sense of security, that you feel you can’t be infected if you have a face mask,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven also said.

At the same press conference, the government announced a slight relaxing of recommendations relating to domestic travel. Long non-essential journeys should still be avoided, but travel of up to two hours by car, within small groups of family or close friends, is possible if people use common sense, ministers said.

Source: thelocal.se

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