Denmark’s conditions for summer holiday plans

If you're wondering what all the new border announcements mean for you in Denmark, here's a summary of where you can and cannot go.

Denmark’s conditions for summer holiday plans
A tourist walking on the edge of Besseggen Mountain along the most famous track in Jotunheimen Park in Norway: Sveinung YSTAD: AFP

For many international residents, summer holiday plans to see friends and family are still on hold unfortunately. Most travel abroad is not recommended until August 31st and most tourists cannot enter the country before this date. 

However, travel across Germany, Norway, and Iceland is allowed for Danish citizens and residents from June 15th, as long as big cities are avoided.

At a press conference on Friday, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said to avoid visiting places with a population of more than 750,000. If you do visit these places, then you must self isolate for two weeks when you get back to Denmark. Otherwise, you are free to travel to Norway, Iceland and Germany without self-isolating afterwards.

As the population of Iceland is around 360,000 and the population of Oslo, Norway's biggest city, is around 680,000, self-isolation doesn't apply to these countries. But in Germany, it means avoiding Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne, unless you’re prepared to self-isolate for two weeks afterwards.

While other countries, such as Spain are working on welcoming tourists back from July, the Danish government's advice is to avoid all unnecessary travel beyond Iceland, Germany and Norway until August 31st.

“These are travel guidelines, so we try to guide the Danes based on the knowledge we have about where we think it is sensible and safe to go on holiday. It is clear that there is no ban, there will be no enforcement, there will not be police checks at the airport about where one may be heading, says Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs citizen Erik Brøgger Rasmussen

“But of course we expect the Danes to listen to the advice and guidance that they have done throughout the entire corona crisis,” he adds. He also reiterates the need to self-isolate for two weeks if this type of travel is taken.

The changes to travel across Germany, Norway and Iceland take place on June 15th and it’s recommended to remain aware of the country’s own guidelines regarding the coronavirus, before travelling. You can find these on our other Local sites here:

The Local Germany

The Local Norway

The Danish government has released an English-language fact sheet explaining the deal, and the Norwegian government has issued a press release and published travel advice (in Norwegian) for those planning of travelling to Denmark. 

Travellers from Norway, Germany and Iceland coming to Denmark will be asked to show proof that they have a booking at a hotel, holiday house or campsite for a minimum of six nights somewhere other than Copenhagen, and will be asked at random to take an optional coronavirus test. People who show clear sings of illness will be rejected at the border.

June 15th however, is a Monday and holiday home bookings are usually Saturday to Saturday. So tourists who have booked a holiday during this first week, can stay for five nights and leave on the Saturday but their documentation must show a booking of at least six nights.

Norway is not imposing any similar restrictions on Danish tourists in Norway.

The Danish government says it will maintain the dialogue with Finland and Sweden with a view to opening earlier than August 31st.  

At the press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen suggested the idea of ​​a model that opens regionally with reference to the Øresund region.

Frederiksen also said that Denmark was planning on opening up to tourists from other countries later this year.  “On the other side of summer we are expecting an opening for the other Schengen countries and the UK,” she said.

Earlier in the week, Denmark opened its borders to some couples who have been separated from their partners by the coronavirus lockdown.

Partners, who live in the Nordic countries or Germany can now visit Denmark. Those with grandparents and owners of summerhouses in Denmark can also enter the country, as long as they come form Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland or Germany.

Controversially, the government wanted couples to prove their relationship with photos, text messages and emails but that has now been changed to needing a letter signed by both parties.

Denmark's borders have been closed since March 14th. Initially you could only cross the border if you had a ‘recognised purpose.’ This included working or living in Denmark or supplying goods, having a spouse or partner who you lived with in Denmark, or having parents and children of a Danish citizen or resident.


How closed are Denmark's borders really?

Two cross-border couples who can meet in Denmark again and two who sadly can't


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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.”