Denmark after lockdown: Hairdressers and other professions re-open

The Danish government has announced the reopening guidelines for professions such hairdressers, physiotherapists, dentists and beauticians as they re-opened business on Monday.

Denmark after lockdown: Hairdressers and other professions re-open
Illustration photo: Ida Marie Odgaard / Ritzau Scanpix

At a press meeting on Sunday afternoon, Business Minister Simon Kollerup announced the set of guidelines for how businesses can reopen responsibly, which have been decided with business organisations and health authorities.

“It goes without saying that you cannot avoid contact with a masseur or hairdresser. But the new guidelines need to reduce our infection,” said Kollerup.

Last week Denmark's government struck a cross-party deal to reopen certain professions from next week.

These include dentists, hairdressers, driving schools, masseurs, beauticians, tattooists, physiotherapists. The public institutions which will open include courts, family courts, prisons (for newly sentenced), research laboratories.

Below are some of the guidelines set out today. Full details can be found by clicking this link to the Ministry of Business (Erhvervsministeriet) document.

Face-to-face contact

* Face-to-face contact should be as short as possible and at a distance.

* In situations where prolonged close contact cannot be avoided, there should be a physical barrier between staff and customer.  This could be a mask or visor, or a screen in a nail salon where the customer can put their hands through.


* Employees must wash their hands thoroughly before and after each customer, in addition to other general hand washing times.

* Employees should, where possible, use their own tools/equipment.

* Thorough cleaning of equipment after each treatment and a plan for general cleaning and disinfecting of equipment.

* Thorough cleaning of surfaces such as handles, handrails, light switches, tables, computers that are touched by many.

* Laundry, such as towels, to be washed at 80 degrees.


* There should be at least two meters distance between customers' locations. 

* Any waiting rooms should be closed or arranged so that it is possible to keep a minimum of two meters distance.

* Magazines, toys etc. must be removed from the premises.

* Water and soap or hand sanitizer must be available to customers and employees.

* Information leaflets about coronavirus symptoms and good hygiene should be available in or near the premises.

* Staggered or extended opening and meeting times should be used, to prevent too many employees from working at the same time and to reduce the amount of customers.

* For practical driving lessons there should be no more than one student and one driving teacher per car.



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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.”