Denmark returns to ‘life as we knew it’ as Covid-19 restrictions end despite Omicron


Denmark on Tuesday became the first European Union country to lift all of its Covid restrictions despite record numbers of cases, relying on its high vaccination rate to cope with the milder Omicron variant.

After a first attempt at lifting all its restrictions between September and November, the Scandinavian country is once again ditching its face masks, Covid passes and limited opening hours for bars and restaurants.

“I’m so happy that this is all going to be over tomorrow. It’s good for life in the city, for nightlife, just to be able to be out longer”, 17-year-old student Thea Skovgaard told AFP the day before the lifting.

Nightclubs reopen on Tuesday, when limits on the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings also come to an end.

Only a few restrictions remain in place at the country’s borders, for unvaccinated travellers arriving from non-Schengen countries.

Netherlands lifts toughest Covid curbs with Denmark and France set to follow


The Netherlands has lifted its toughest Covid controls, Denmark is to remove all restrictions within days and France will begin easing curbs next week, as many – but not all – EU countries opt to reopen despite record infection numbers.

The moves come as data shows hospital and intensive care admissions are not surging in line with cases, and after the World Health Organization suggested the Omicron variant – which studies show is more contagious but usually less severe for vaccinated people – may signal a new, more manageable phase in the pandemic.

Dutch bars, restaurants and museums were allowed to reopen on Wednesday after the prime minister, Mark Rutte, said the government was “consciously looking for the limits of what is possible” as case numbers continued to hit new daily highs.

Intensive care admissions and deaths, however, have been falling in the Netherlands, and the health minister, Ernst Kuipers, said a decision to prolong restrictive measures would have risked “harming our health and our society”.

The Danish government, which two weeks ago allowed cinemas and music venues to reopen after a month’s closure, also announced on Wednesday plans to scrap remaining domestic coronavirus controls from 1 February. The move – which must be approved by parliament – will allow nightclubs to reopen, restaurants to serve alcohol after 10pm, and shops to lift limits on customer numbers. Vaccine passes will no longer be needed, and commuters may travel without wearing masks.

Despite record cases in Denmark, hospitalisations stay “relatively” low in comparison


Denmark showing some encouraging case and hospitalisation data


Denmark – The number of inpatients drops to the lowest since mid-August following full reopening


325 new found corona infection in the last 24 hours. Number of inpatients is below 100 for the first time since mid-August.

In the last 24 hours, 325 new cases of coronavirus infection have been found, according to figures from the Statens Serum Institut (SSI).

The number of inpatients decreases by eight to 97.

This is the first time since mid-August that the number of admissions has fallen below 100. On 14 August, 94 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in the country’s hospitals.

Danish R-number at lowest level since June


The R-number, also known as reproduction rate, of Covid-19 in Denmark is currently 0.7, according to updated figures released on Tuesday.

That puts the current spread of the coronavirus in the country at its lowest level since June, the last time such a figure was recorded.

The R-number is a measure of the current state of the epidemic within a society. An R-number over 1.0 means 10 infected people will infected more than 10 others, meaning the epidemic will grow.

If the R-number is less than 1.0, the epidemic is receding.

The figure is calculated using infection numbers from around 10 days ago, meaning there is an inherent lag in the measure.

It is nevertheless a key factor used by authorities in assessments of the current status of the Covid-19 pandemic in Denmark.

The beginning of September has also seen a falling trend in the number of daily cases recorded by health authorities.

The average of 932 cases per day registered in August has fallen to 625 so far in September.

On Tuesday, 451 new cases were registered from 43,694 PCR tests, giving a test positivity rate of 1.03 percent.

“It is positive that we are seeing this falling trend in infection numbers and for me it is clear evidence that the vaccines work,” Torben Mogensen, chairperson of lung disease charity Lungeforeningen, told news wire Ritzau.

Denmark Lifts All Coronavirus Restrictions Except Entry Rules


From September 10, Denmark will remove all domestic restrictions related to Covid-19. In a news release, Danish minister of health Magnus Heunicke said the country’s high vaccination rate means the pandemic is “under control” in Denmark and is no longer a “critical threat to society.”

The move means Danes will no longer need to show a coronavirus certificate to enter restaurants, nightclubs or large events. However, the travel and border restrictions remain in place for now.

Back on March 10, 2020, Denmark classified Covid-19 as an illness that posed a critical threat to society. This gave the government power to introduce severe restrictions on everyday life. Schools, kindergartens, universities and many public buildings were closed.

The restrictions have been in place since then, although many restrictions have been lifted in recent months. Today, a valid coronavirus certificate (proof of vaccination or a negative test) is required to enter many restaurants, attend soccer games or visit fitness centers.

On September 10, the classification of Covid-19 will be downgraded, which ends the legal basis for many of the restrictions. From that date, a coronavirus certificate won’t be required.

More than 70 percent of the Danish population are now fully-vaccinated, according to official figures.

Denmark drops “red” status for all countries including UK regions


Denmark has dropped the most restrictive “red” travel classification for all countries including England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, meaning vaccinated travellers from these countries will no longer need to self-isolate on arrival.

“The national COVID-19 task force on travel restrictions has decided to deactivate the red safety valve for all current red countries and regions,” Denmark’s foreign ministry said in a press release.

“The task force’s decision is due to the fact that the delta variant has become dominant both in Denmark and globally and thus has now outcompeted the other virus variants (beta and gamma), which are no longer considered by the health authorities to be particularly worrying.”

The change will see 21 countries move from “red” to “orange”, including Argentina, Botswana, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Eswatini, Fiji, Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Libya, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Panama, Namibia, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

This means Denmark’s foreign ministry no longer advises Danish residents against travelling to these areas.

It also means that travellers from these areas, if vaccinated, will no longer need to go into self-isolation on arrival in Denmark, have a “worthy purpose” to travel to Denmark if they are resident in an OECD country, show a negative PCR test at the border, or to get a PCR test on arrival.

Covid vaccinations: No reason to stop using AstraZeneca jab, says WHO


Countries should not stop using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine over fears it causes blood clots as there is no indication this is true, the World Health Organization says.

Bulgaria, Denmark and Norway are among the countries that have paused its use.

But on Friday a WHO spokeswoman said there was no link between the jab and an increased risk of developing a clot.

Margaret Harris said it was an “excellent vaccine” and should continue to be used.

Around 5 million Europeans have already received the AstraZeneca jab.

There have been about 30 cases in Europe of “thromboembolic events” – or developing blood clots – after the vaccine was administered. There were also reports that a 50-year-old man had died in Italy after developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The WHO is investigating the reports, as it does any safety questions, Ms Harris said.

On Friday, AstraZeneca said the recorded number of blood clots in vaccinated people was “significantly lower… than would be expected among the general population”.

“An analysis of our safety data of more than 10 million records has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis,” a spokesperson said.