Sweden bans travelers from Norway over new COVID-19 variant

STOCKHOLM — Sweden said on Sunday it would temporarily stop all foreigners coming in from Norway from midnight, in a bid to halt the spread of the new coronavirus variant first spotted in Britain.

Interior minister Mikael Damberg told a news conference the entry ban, with exemptions for commuters and some other groups, would last until Feb. 14.

The decision came a day after Norway imposed some of its toughest lockdown measures yet in several municipalities after an outbreak of the new coronavirus variant.

Damberg said the Swedish measures would stop Norwegian shoppers heading over the long shared border to escape those toughter restrictions.

Sweden was also extending an existing ban on entries from Britain and Denmark, he said.

Sweden’s foreign ministry posted a message on its website on on Sunday advising against unnecessary travel to Norway.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Christina Fincher and Andrew Heavens)

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