Infection in Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Turkey…

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27 percent of us estimate that it will be a holiday abroad this summer. It emerged in a survey conducted by Innovation Norway this week.

But the dream of a holiday abroad still seems to be a long way off.

If we look at the weekly infection figures from ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) for the previous two weeks, there are no countries that qualify for yellow marking, ie where you have the opportunity to travel without being quarantined upon return.

Cyprus verst

In the overview below, we have highlighted 15 European countries that we consider to be quite holiday-relevant for Norwegians in “normal” times. Among them, Cyprus has the greatest infection pressure, with over 1,200 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, not far from twice the next country on the list. In fact, the country has the greatest infection pressure in the entire EU / EEA area.

For Cyprus, the infection has been increasing in recent weeks – last week the number was 962 per 100,000, while the week before it was 774.

According to Flysmart24 The authorities in Cyprus have implemented a number of measures to eradicate the infection. The country is now closed until May 9 with a curfew between 21 and 05, and gatherings of people are banned. Perhaps the most extreme measure is that people are only allowed to leave their home once a day, and that you must notify them by SMS. All shops are closed, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies.

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For those who dream of a holiday in Turkey, which are not currently considered for yellow marking by the Norwegian authorities since they are outside the EEA, the infection rate is very high even there during the day. Yesterday, the authorities introduced a full lockdown, reports BBC, and the infection rate is 832 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to Ourworldindata. The proportion of positive tests is also very high – in recent days it has steadily been as high as 17-19 percent.

No yellow land

As you can see from the diagram below, Sweden is among the countries with the greatest infection pressure, roughly on par with Croatia.

Even the countries with the least infection pressure, Iceland and Finland, have well over 25 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, indicated by a yellow dotted line in the diagram. 25 is the limit the Norwegian authorities have set for yellowing the countries – albeit in combination with other aspects such as the proportion of positive tests (<5 per cent) and the like.

Few yellow regions

The Norwegian authorities have chosen to divide our neighboring countries into regions, so that they can be assessed specifically instead of the whole country being assessed as a whole. Among other things, this meant that some Swedish counties were yellow-marked in periods last year, to the delight of cottage owners and border traders.

Now, however, it looks blood red – even the region with the least infection, Västerbotten, has according to the Swedish Folhälsomyndigheten 484 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, ie almost four times as much as in Norway as a whole.

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Covid-19 infection in Europe week 15 and 16, at regional level.  Photo: ECDC

Covid-19 infection in Europe week 15 and 16, at regional level. Photo: ECDC
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In the map above you see the infection level for the last 14 days regionally in European countries. There are only a very few regions that have fewer than 20 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks, including three regions in Finland.

Others are also nearby, such as Valencia in Spain, but the country is being assessed there at least for the time being under one of the Norwegian authorities, and not at regional level.

Working with vaccine passport

European authorities is now working on introducing vaccine passes, ie where those who have been fully vaccinated, have undergone covid-19 disease or have recently tested negative can document just this.

Exactly how the vaccine passport will work has not yet been decided, but it can open up for vaccinated people to be able to cross borders and avoid quarantine schemes – despite high infection rates.

Those who have taken the chance and booked a holiday abroad this summer, run a great risk. If the trip has been booked while the country has been marked in red, and it is still marked in red when the trip is to start, the travel insurance will not apply – neither with regard to cancellation nor help if something unforeseen should happen on the trip.

Remember also that even a yellow marking from the Norwegian authorities does not mean that it is free. The country you want to travel to may have rules that make a holiday impossible, or that mean that most of the holiday must be spent in quarantine.

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