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Four ways the 2020 budget could change everyday life in Denmark

Denmark’s budget for next year was finalized this week after the government and its parliamentary allies agreed on a deal.

Four ways the 2020 budget could change everyday life in Denmark
Danish Minister of Finance Nicolai Wammen on his way to speak to press after presenting the agreed 2020 budget. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

We detailed some parts of the initial budget proposal when it was announced earlier this year.

Here’s how the final agreement could impact the country in the near to medium-term future.

READ ALSO: Denmark's budget could allow for more skilled foreign workers


As one of their election campaign promises going back to last year, the now-governing Social Democrats vowed to increase the number of nurses in Denmark by 1,000.

The budget provides funding for that, with 300 million kroner next and 600 million kroner from 2021 onwards earmarked to hire new nurses.

But the government already appears to be facing a challenge retaining the existing number of nurses.


Parents across the country, along with politicians – most notably the Socialist People’s Party (SF) – have long called for the government to guarantee the ratio of staff to children in Danish municipal childcare facilities by providing the funding for enforced ratios known as mimimumsnormeringer.

The 2020 budget provides for 500 million kroner next year and a total of 1.6 billion kroner to spent by 2025 with the long-term aim of ensuring one adult per three children at creches (vuggestue) and one adult per six children at kindergartens (børnehave).


According to the budget text, parties have agreed to increase spending on schools by 275 million kroner next year, increasing to around 800 million kroner in 2023.

The money will enable municipalities to begin hiring new teachers from next year, according to the budget agreement.

READ ALSO: How do Denmark's Pisa school results compare to other countries?

Electric cars

A planned increase on registration fees for electric cars, scheduled to take effect in 2020, has been frozen by the government.

The agreement means that the registration fee for electric cars will stay at the current 20 percent of vehicle value in 2020 and will not rise to 40 percent, as previously planned.

Meanwhile, an increase on the basic deduction on registration fees for electric cars will stay at 40,000 kroner, and not increase to 77,500 kroner as planned.

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For members


What changes about life in Denmark in June 2021?

Coronavirus rules, travel restrictions and car registration fees are among the areas set to see announcements, updates or rule changes in Denmark in June.

What changes about life in Denmark in June 2021?
An electric-powered harbour bus operating in Copenhagen in June 2020. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Changes to coronavirus restrictions

Denmark initially outlined a phased plan to lift its coronavirus restrictions back in March. The plan has been updated (and accelerated) on a number of occasions, with politicians meeting regularly to discuss adjustments based on the status and progression of the epidemic.

Initially, the government said it would lift the majority of restrictions by the end of May, when it expected to have vaccinated everyone over the age of 50 (apart from those who choose not to be vaccinated). Although the vaccination calendar was pushed back, restrictions are still being lifted, with the government citing progress with vaccinations and general good control of the epidemic.

In an agreement reached earlier this month, the government said rules requiring the use of face masks and corona passports will be revoked when all people over 16 in Denmark have been offered vaccination. The end-stage of the vaccination programme is currently scheduled to be reached at the end of August. But more detail on the plans for phased lifting of these rules is expected to surface in June.

READ ALSO: When will Denmark stop requiring corona passports and face masks?

A return to offices and shared workspaces, already set out to occur in three steps, will continue. In the first phase, which began on May 21st, 20 percent capacity were allowed back at physical workplaces. Remaining staff must continue to work from home where possible. This proportion will increase to 50 percent on June 14th (and 100 percent on August 1st).

Public assembly limit to be raised indoors, lifted outdoors

The current phase of reopening, which has been in place since May 21st, limits gatherings indoors to 50 people. This is scheduled to increase to 100 on June 11th.

Outdoors gatherings, currently limited to 100 people, will be completely revoked on June 11th.

August 11th will see the end of any form of assembly limit, indoors or outdoors, according to the scheduled reopening.

Unfortunately, this does not mean festivals such as Roskilde Festival – which would normally start at the end of June – can go ahead. Large scale events are still significantly restricted, meaning Roskilde and the majority of Denmark’s other summer festivals have already been cancelled.

Eased travel restrictions could be extended to non-EU countries

Earlier this month, Denmark moved into the third phase of lifting travel restrictions , meaning tourists from the EU and Schengen countries can enter the country.

The current rules mean that foreigners resident in EU and Schengen countries rated orange on the country’s traffic light classification (yellow, orange and red) for Covid-19 levels in the relevant countries, will no longer need a worthy purpose to enter Denmark, opening the way for tourists to come to Denmark from across the region.

Denmark raised the threshold for qualifying as a yellow country from 20-30 to 50-60 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.  

However, the lower threshold only applies to EU and Schengen countries, which means that, for example, the UK does not qualify as a yellow country despite falling within the incidence threshold.


But the 27 member states of the European Union recently announced they had agreed to allow fully vaccinated travellers to enter the bloc.

A Ministry of Justice text which sets out the plan for Denmark’s phased easing of travel restrictions suggests that the fourth phase, scheduled to take effect on June 26th, will see Denmark adopt the EU’s common rules on entry for persons from outside the bloc, meaning non-EU countries could qualify for the more lenient rules for yellow regions.

New car registration fees come into effect

New rules for registration fees for new vehicles, adopted in February, take effect on June 1st.

The laws, which will be applied retroactively from December 18th 2020, mean that different criteria will be used to calculate the registrations fees applied to cars based on their carbon dioxide emissions, replacing the existing rules which used fuel consumption as the main emissions criteria.

New rules will also be introduced offering more advantages for registering electric and hybrid vehicles.

You can find detailed information via the Danish Motor Vehicle Agency.

READ ALSO: Why is it so expensive to buy a car in Denmark?