Denmark has opened its borders to lovers separated amid the coronavirus lockdown – but they will have to prove they are in a relationship first.
Those who live in Germany, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been told they can reunite and visit their Danish partner as of Monday – but they must prove they are a couple with photos, emails and text messages.
Officials say a name, address and contact details of the person’s partner in Denmark are needed, as well as phone records between the pair to show the history of the relationship.
Police have said the easing of lockdown measures only applies to couples who have been together for at least six months and those who have physically met before, as opposed to being in a strictly online or text relationship.
Those who live in Germany, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden countries have been told they can reunite and visit their Danish partner as of Monday (file photo)
Lawmakers criticised the stringent rules which prompted a government rethink.
‘They can bring along a photo or a love letter,’ deputy chief Allan Dalager Clausen told Danish broadcaster DR.
‘I realise these are very intimate things, but the decision to let in the partner ultimately rests on the judgment of the individual police officer,’ he said.
Justice minister Nick Hækkerup said the regulations will now be eased in the coming days so that a letter signed by both parties is all that’s needed to prove the relationship.
‘If you say you are a boyfriend and sign [the letter], we will assume it [is true],’ he told broadcaster TV2.
The rules will be welcome news for thousands of couples forced apart by lockdown measures – including 85-year-old Inga Rasmussen from Denmark and 89-year-old Karsten Tüchsen Hansen from Germany.
The couple, who have spent almost every day together for the past year, meet daily near the border town of Aventoft, to sit down for a cup of coffee, Geele Köm – a local spirit, or just some biscuits and a chat.
Karsten Tüchsen Hansen (right) and the Danish Inga Rasmussen (left) are pictured sitting at the German-Danish border crossing
Danish authorities restricted public assembly to 10 or fewer people and shut all borders to most foreigners on 11 March, one of the first European countries to do so.
But last month Søren Brostrøm, the Director General of the Danish Health Authority, made it clear that Denmark’s strict approach to social distancing does not event to casual sex.
He said that single people with a relatively high number of different sexual partners should not feel inhibited by social distancing measures.
‘Sex is good. Sex is healthy. We are sexual beings, and of course you can have sex in this situation.
‘As with any other human contact, there is a risk of infection. But of course one must be able to have sex.
The new rules also mean anyone from Germany or Nordic countries can travel to holiday homes they own in Denmark.
The country has been gradually easing its lockdown measures following a stabilisation in the number of cases and deaths.
There have so far been 11,426 confirmed cases of cornavirus and 563 deaths.
Kingergartens and primary schools were given the green light to reopen on April 15 and small businesses like hairdressers are back up and running.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Culture Minister Joy Mogensen visit Museum of Modern Art Louisiana, as the museum reopened ahead of schedule
The country also began re-opening museums and zoos ahead of schedule last week as virologists said the epidemic was slowing, despite the lifting of quarantine measures.
Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said: ‘We now have the coronavirus under control’ as her government accelerated the end of the lockdown.
Elsewhere a number of other European countries are considering reopening internal borders as the outbreak eases.
Earlier this month EU executive and economic affairs commissioner Paolo Gentiloni proposed a gradual lifting of borders to help kick-start the tourist industry.
‘Our message is we will have a tourist season this summer, even if it it’s with security measures and limitations’, he said.
Germany is proposing that travel to all 26 other EU states plus the UK and Iceland and Norway that are in the border-free Schengen zone should be allowed from 15 June.
Spain has also announced that it will allow tourists back to the country from July 1, ending its two-week quarantine policy.
The UK government’s own two-week quarantine policy comes into force on June 8.