Danish government updates northern Italy travel advice

Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially advised against all travel to six regions in Northern Italy.

Danish government updates northern Italy travel advice
Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Editor's note: information in this article relating to coronavirus infection numbers in Denmark is now out of date. You can read the latest update from March 9th here or check our paywall-free information article, which will be updated regularly.


Denmark has updated its official advice for travel to Italy after the latest coronavirus figures were posted by the Danish Patient Safety Authority on its website on Sunday, showing 35 infections.

The figure stood at 23 on Friday and 27 on Saturday.

On Friday, the government asked all events in March with attendances over 1,000 to be cancelled, in a measure aimed at restricting the spread of the virus in Denmark.

READ ALSO: Why Denmark is cancelling concerts in response to coronavirus

An additional 628 people are currently quarantined in Denmark, according to the Danish Patient Safety Authority’s latest update.

People placed in home quarantine are generally considered to be healthy until proven otherwise.

Earlier on Sunday, it emerged that a patient at North Zealand Hospital in Hillerød had been infected with coronavirus after being referred to the hospital by his own doctor with symptoms of pneumonia. The patient's stay in the hospital has resulted in nine employees at the hospital being placed in home quarantine. Among them are nurses, two doctors, a secretary and a bioanalyst.

Health authorities in Denmark and elsewhere are worried about potentially infected people turning up at hospitals and passing on the virus.

Therefore, you should always start by contacting your doctor by telephone. Remember to state that you have been in an area of infection, if this is the case.

You can read more about symptoms and who to contact in our paywall-free information article.

Although the number of infected people in Denmark is steadily increasing, the situation in the country remains less serious than in other parts of Europe.

Many of the cases in Denmark can be traced back to northern Italy, the country in Europe most severely hit by coronavirus.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, the Italian government approved a new emergency decree which included placing some 15 million people living in northern Italy inside a new “quarantine” zone.

With more than 360 fatalities and 7,000 confirmed cases, Italy is by far the worst-affected country in Europe.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: What you need to know about the new quarantine measures in northern Italy

Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to the situation in Italy by officially advising against all travel to six regions in Northern Italy: Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Valle d’Aosta, Veneto and Marche.

That is an escalation of the ministry’s previous travel advice to Italy, which had been to advise against non-essential trips only.

You can keep up to date with the Danish foreign ministry’s travel advice relating to Italy and all other countries via the ministry’s website.

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IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?

The number of new Covid-19 infections fell on Saturday for the second day in a row, following a three-day plateau at the start of last week. Has the omicron wave peaked?

IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?
Graffiti in the Copenhagen hippy enclave of Christiania complaining of Omicron's impact on Christmas. Photo: Philip Davali/Scanpix

How many cases, hospitalisations and deaths are there in Denmark? 

Denmark registered 12,588 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, down from the 18,261 registered on in the day leading up to Friday at 2pm, which was itself a decline from the record 28,283 cases recorded on Wednesday. 

The cases were identified by a total of 174,517 PCR tests, bringing the positive percentage to 7.21 percent, down from the sky high rates of close to 12 percent seen in the first few days of January. 

The number of cases over the past seven days is lower than the week before in almost every municipality in Denmark, with only Vallensbæk, Aarhus, Holseterbro, Skanderborg, Hjørring, Vordingborg,  Ringkøbing, Kolding, Assens, Horsens, Thisted, and Langeland reporting rises. 

Hospitalisations have also started to fall, with some 730 patients being treated for Covid-10 on Saturday, down from 755 on Friday. On Tuesday, 794 were being treated for Covid-19 in Danish hospitals, the highest number since the peak of the 2020-21 winter wave.

The only marker which has not yet started to fall is the number of deaths, which tends to trail infections and hospitalisations. 

In the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, Denmark registered 28 deaths with Covid-19, the highest daily number recorded since 20 January 2021, when 29 people died with Covid-19 (although Denmark’s deadliest day was the 19 January 2021, when 39 people died). 

How does Denmark compare to other countries in Europe? 

Over the last seven days, Denmark has had the highest Covid-19 case rate of any country in Europe bar Ireland. The number of new infections in the country has climbed steadily since the start of December, apart from a brief fall over Christmas. 

So does this mean the omicron wave has peaked? 

Maybe, although experts are not sure. 

“Of course, you can hope for that, but I’m not sure that is the case,” said Christian Wejse, head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital. “I think it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has peaked.”

He said that patients with the Omicron variant were being discharged more rapidly on average than had been the case with those who had the more dangerous Delta variant. 

“Many admissions are relatively short-lived, thankfully. This is because many do not become that il, and are largely hospitalized because they are suffering with something else. And if they are stable and do not need oxygen, then they are quickly discharged again.” 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to an event held by the Social Liberal party that the latest numbers made her even more optimistic about the coming month. 

“We have lower infection numbers and the number of hospitalisations is also plateauing,” she said. “I think we’re going to get through this winter pretty well, even if it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we are beginning to see the spring ahead of us, so I’m actually very optimistic.” 

She said that she had been encouraged by the fact that Omicron was a “visibly less dangerous variant if it is not allowed to explode.”