These are Denmark’s current coronavirus guidelines for the public

Unlike many other European countries, Denmark does not have a general requirement for the use of face masks to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

These are Denmark’s current coronavirus guidelines for the public
Photo: Sundhedsstyrelsen

**** Editor's note: Denmark's advice on use of face masks has changed since this article was published. SEE HERE for the current guidelines.



Although Copenhagen and Billund airports require passengers and staff to wear face masks, there is no general requirement for their use in public in Denmark.

That makes the country a relative outlier, with regulation in European countries including Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom requiring face masks to be worn in public spaces like shops and public transport.

In its guidance, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says that “use of face masks in the community could be considered, especially when visiting busy, closed spaces, such as grocery stores, shopping centres, or when using public transport, etc.”

READ ALSO: Could face masks become compulsory in Denmark?

Denmark has not introduced mandatory general requirements for face mask use but the Danish Health Authority has issued guidelines to the public over how they can take precautions to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.


These “good habits” were recently mentioned by Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke as vital in keeping coronavirus infections in Denmark at their current low level. They are set out in detail below.

The Danish Health Authority sets out its guidelines into five general categories. They are:

1. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitiser

Proper hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent contact spread, the health authority says. Therefore, regular hand washing with soap and water for 60 seconds or the use of hand sanitiser is advised.

Hands should always be washed after going to the bathroom, before cooking, before eating, after blowing your nose, after changing your baby's diaper and when you come home from work, shopping, etc.

Similarly, you should always avoid touching your face to prevent the virus from potentially entering your hands, nose or mouth.


2. Cough and sneeze into your sleeve

Or into a disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterwards.

3. Avoid handshakes, cheek kisses and hugs

Maintaining a social distance is still recommended – even if you have no symptoms.

4. Clean homes and workplaces regularly and thoroughly

The risk of contact spread increases dramatically when you touch contact point and surfaces that are touched by many people – such as door handles, bannisters, light switches, buttons, keyboards, armrests, table edges, taps, toilets and so on. These should therefore be cleaned or disinfected regularly.

The Danish Health Authority generally considers the risk of infection via textiles or clothing to be limited, but in households where someone is ill or suspected to have Covid-19, you should wash towels, bed linen and underwear at a minimum of 60 degrees.

5. Keep your distance and ask others to be considerate

Based on an assessment of current documentation, international recommendations and its own experience, the Danish Health Authority recommends at least a 1-metre distance between people in the public space and at least a 2-metres distance in situations where there might be an increased risk of droplet spread or where there are special considerations.

The latter situation might be one of the following:

  • if you are anxious about your own or someone else’s respiratory symptoms
  • when visiting nursing homes, hospitals or persons at higher risk
  • during activities involving heavy exhalation where droplets are formed and scattered further away from the person than during normal speech, such as singing, shouting or exercise
  • in confined spaces with limited room, poor ventilation, etc., such as basements or elevators.

Source:, Sundhedsstyrelsen

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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.”