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Coronavirus: Denmark turns away 149 travellers after closing border

149 people have been rejected at the border in southern Jutland since the borders closed on Saturday, according to South Jutland Police.

Coronavirus: Denmark turns away 149 travellers after closing border
A police officer controls a car driver at the Danish border in Moellehus, Denmark, on March 14, 2020: AFP
Denmark effectively closed its borders at midday on Saturday, in a move aimed at stemming the fight of the coronavirus. The borders will remain closed until April 13th, the government has said.

South Jutland Police tweeted on Sunday that they have checked 3748 people at the Danish-German border and rejected 149.

At border crossings in Southern Jutland, at airports, ports and other places where people travel from abroad, there are extensive border checks to ensure compliance with the restrictions.

Certain categories of people notably those who live and work in Denmark are still be able to enter. Travellers will be turned away if they can't show that they have a legitimate reason to be there, for example that they are Danish citizens or foreign nationals living and working in the country.

Expatriated Danish soldiers are not allowed to return to Denmark on leave until March 30th.

On Saturday, Copenhagen Police said that 13 people had been rejected at the Øresund bridge but there had been no refusals at Copenhagen airport.  

There has been some concern from the tourism industry over the sudden closure of the borders.

The CEO of Feriehusudlejernes Brancheforening (The Holiday Homes Rentals Association) has said the closure will mean German holidaymakers must cancel 1.4 million nights in holiday homes until mid April. 

Tønder's mayor Henrik Frandsen described the situation as deeply serious for the tourism and business of the town, which relies on those visiting from south of the border.

As of Saturday, Denmark has 827 confirmed cases of coronavirus and no deaths. According to the Worldometers website, this is the fourth highest per capita number of infections worldwide after Italy, Norway and South Korea. There are also nine confirmed cases in the Faroe Islands but no cases in Greenland.

Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed its travel advisory so that the entire world is classed as 'orange'. This means it now recommends against unnecessary travel to any other country.

Danish citizens currently abroad are encouraged to return to the country immediately. 

“If you are already abroad, you should return home as quickly as possible,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said at the press conference on Friday, stressing that this advice only applied to Danes travelling, and not those permanently resident abroad. 

At Friday's press conference, the government also announced that hospitals in the country would stop carrying out all normal medical procedures to concentrate on essential and emergency medical care and treating those infected with the virus. 

Danish public broadcaster DR have provided a list of which categories of people will be allowed to cross the border. 

They include: 

  • Danish citizens 
  • Those working or living in Denmark
  • Those delivering good to Denmark
  • Those collecting goods from Denmark 
  • Those with visitation rights to children in Denmark
  • Those visiting extremely sick family members in Denmark 
  • Other reasons for visiting will be assessed on a case by case business
  • Ordinary visits to family members will not be a sufficient reason to enter Denmark

 

 

Member comments

  1. As at 23.00 on 13 March the position is unclear. No advice from UK Foreign Office or British Airways , and hotel staff in Copenhagen are unable to confirm. The reports of travel bans ‘to and from’ after noon on 14 March seem to suggest tourists will be unable to leave for at least a month after then. Since it is unclear, we have booked a last minute flight out via Air France before the noon deadline, just to be sure.

  2. How are ‘visitation rights to children in Denmark’ defined? My wife works in Denmark and our daughter attends a Danish school (now disrupted, of course). None of us is a Danish citizen, and I live and and work in the UK. What kind of documents/evidence do I need to enter the country? Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

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COVID-19

Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

Denmark has received its first supply of Paxlovid, an antiviral treatment for Covid-19.

Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

A first stock of Paxlovid, a tablet which can be described by doctors to combat Covid-19 symptoms, has been delivered to Denmark, health authorities confirmed in a statement.

“The first delivery has arrived today and the rest will be delivered continuously during the coming period,” the Danish Health Authority said.

Denmark has purchased 40,000 treatment courses of the medicine.

Doctors decide when to prescribe the medicine, which is suitable for adults infected with Covid-19 who are at risk of serious illness with Covid-19. It is taken over a course of five days when symptoms are still mild.

“Treatment with Paxlovid is for the patients who are at greatest risk of serious illness with Covid-19 and the treatment will be an important part of the future management of Covid-19,” the Health Authority said in the statement.

The arrival of a medicine for Covid-19 does not signal the end of vaccination which remains “the most effective measure to prevent serious illness and death,” it said.

Denmark has purchased the Paxlovid supply through a deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) has 2.2 million Covid-19 vaccines which have been in storage for so long that they are no longer usable, news wire Ritzau earlier reported.

The vaccines were purchased when Denmark was acquiring as many as possible during the pandemic but because they are not effective against newer variants of the coronavirus, they can no longer be used.

Another 3.6 million doses in storage at SSI can only be used for the initial two doses for as-yet unvaccinated people – who are now limited in number given Denmark’s high vaccine uptake. This means they are unusable in the current booster programme.

The cost of the 5.8 million vaccines is estimated at between 116 and 783 million kroner.

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