Norway adds Danish southern region to coronavirus quarantine list

From Saturday, those travelling to Norway from the Region of Southern Denmark, will have to quarantine for ten days, according to a press release from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Norway adds Danish southern region to coronavirus quarantine list
Covid-19 testing in Odense on September 3rd. Photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix
The quarantine requirement was recommended by the Norwegian health authorities after the Region of Southern Denmark received an incidence figure higher than 20. 

This means that there are more than 20 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the region and so the region goes from being yellow' on the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' travel guide to being 'red'. 

The requirement of the ten quarantine days also applies if you travel through another region. In that case, the days spent in a quarantine-free region will be deducted from the total number of days quarantined when traveling into Norway. 

In line with the quarantine requirement, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs now advises against all unnecessary travel to the Region of Southern Denmark.  

Norway lifted travel restrictions with most EEA and Schengen area countries on July 15th, but rising infections in Europe have resulted in a gradual re-tightening of guidelines and rules.

NIPH regularly updates its list of EEA and Schengen area countries which meet and do not meet the country's criteria of less than 20 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 people for the last two weeks. Health authorities base their recommendations on figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the EU agency monitoring the data.

Once a country exceeds the threshold NIPH recommends it becomes ‘red', meaning the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against travel that is not strictly necessary to that country, and self-quarantine is required for travellers returning or arriving from it. 

For fellow Nordic countries, Norway's health authorities judge on a regional basis.

READ ALSO: What are Norway’s quarantine rules and what happens if you break them?

The stricter travel guide in Norway also applies to travel from Slovakia and Hungary. Swedish regions Jämtland and Örebro have also been added to the ‘red’ list, as has Finnish region Kainuu, the first restriction so far to be applied by Norway to Finland.

The change will take effect from midnight on the night of Saturday, September 12th.  

Two other Danish regions – Central Jutland and Greater Copenhagen (Hovedstaden) – are already on the Norwegian ‘red’ travel list. Another region, Zealand, was previously ‘red’ but downgraded last week to ‘yellow’, meaning quarantine is not required.

Denmark announced new restrictions in Greater Copenhagen and third city Odense on Monday as the country reacts to a recent rise in new Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations with the virus.

Odense is located within the Southern Denmark administrative Region.

READ ALSO: Denmark announces new restrictions as coronavirus cases increase

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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.”