Why Danes are beginning to venture abroad again, boosting corona-hit travel sector

July has seen cool temperatures and rainy days in Denmark, after hotter weather last month. The country’s travel sector says the weather is encouraging more people to holiday abroad.

Why Danes are beginning to venture abroad again, boosting corona-hit travel sector
A Finnair flight leaving Copenhagen in 2015. Photo: David Leth Williams/Ritzau Scanpix

This week is likely to see a continuation of the cooler, wetter weather which has characterized much of this month, with temperatures of 16-20 degrees Celsius forecast from Monday to Friday.

“Monday will have mostly dry weather with a little to some sun,” DMI meteorologist Trine Pedersen told Ritzau. Rain is forecast in the west of the country from Monday evening and is expected to persist for much of the week.

“On the other hand, it will be less windy than it was last week, so it will feel warmer,” Pedersen added.

Friday is predicted to have the week’s best weather, with temperatures hitting up to 20-23 degrees Celsius.

The disappointing weather for domestic vacationers – which comes after a hot June – has been linked to an increase in bookings being made for holidays abroad, as the travel sector seeks to get back on its feet following the downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Public service broadcaster DR reports that signs are emerging of people in Denmark changing plans to holiday domestically and instead travelling abroad, with much of the EU now open for most travel.

READ ALSO: Where can you travel in Europe? EU launches new website to help tourists

Countries with warm climates are the most popular destinations, according to Lars Thykier of the Association of Danish Travel Agents and Tour Operators (Danmarks Rejsebureau Forening), who spoke to DR.

“Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta and France are selling the best,” Thykier said.

“I think this is marvellous summer weather. It’s exactly what we need. It certainly wouldn’t do us any harm if the meteorologists could promise three more weeks of not-so-good weather,” he told the broadcaster.


Another travel agency said that last week saw around a “doubling” of visitors to its website.

“As travel agents, we are always pleased to see a few drops of rain in Denmark,” Henrik G. Jensen, branch manager with Aarhus Charter, told DR.

The broadcaster spoke to Danish passengers at Copenhagen airport who cited the weather as a primary motive for their recently-booked trips abroad.

Danish airports currently have a mandatory requirement to wear facemasks, while some countries require these to be worn at all times in public places.

Most of Europe is currently open to tourists from Denmark. This means that Danes and Danish-resident people can travel to much of Europe without having to quarantine themselves upon arrival.

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs guidelines on travel to countries in the EU and Schengen zone as well as the United Kingdom can be checked on the ministry’s website. The guidelines are updated weekly.

The guidelines are based on current rates of Covid-19 infection as registered by the countries in question, as well as restrictions (such as quarantine) placed by those countries on arrivals from Denmark.

Portugal and parts of Sweden remain marked as ‘orange’ on the ministry’s guidelines, meaning that travel is not advised. The same applies to Ireland because of the quarantine rules currently implemented by Irish authorities.

READ ALSO: Denmark to welcome tourists from every EU country except (most of) Sweden and Portugal

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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.”