Denmark to reopen hair salons and driving schools next week

Denmark's government has struck a cross-party deal to reopen hairdressers, driving schools, research laboratories, courts and some professions from next week.

Denmark to reopen hair salons and driving schools next week
Lone, a haridresser at the L&L salon in Frederiksberg Copenhagen, gives a customer a trim. Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix
“I'm exceptionally happy that the political parties in parliament have this evening agreed to expand the first phase of the reopening a little,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen wrote in a post on Facebook.
“No one wants to keep Denmark closed a single day more than is absolutely necessary, but we must not proceed any faster than we can continue to keep the epidemic under control.” 
Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, leader of the opposition Liberal Party, wrote on Twitter that the accelerated opening was good news. 
“After a long evening of negotiations, many can now return to work, and a more normal day-to-day life,” he wrote on Twitter. 
Morten Østergaard, leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party, said he was disappointed that the deal did not include Denmark's Folk High Schools and 'efterskole', or “After Schools”, voluntary independent residential schools for young people between the age of 14 to 18. 
“I must not hide the fact that I had hoped that it was possible to reopen after-school and colleges. I know there are many young people who would like to return,” he said. 
In the press release issued by the Prime Minister's Office last night, the government said that political parties would from next week begin negotiations on the second phase of the reopening, which could include restaurants, bars and ordinary workplaces. 
“The goal is to clarify when further restrictions can be lifted and under what conditions. All measures will be assessed on their impact on public health and on society and the economy,” the release reads.  
According to DR, the professions which can resume work include: 
Driving schools 
The public institutions which will open include: 
Family Courts
Prisons (for newly sentenced)
Research laboratories

Member comments

  1. I’m wondering how social distancing is going to be kept in a hairdresser salon. In most of the European countries facial masks are strongly recommended, I have not heard anything like that in DK. So again, the question is how do we keep the required social distance in most of the places named above?

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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.”