Denmark advises against travel to Switzerland and three other countries

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now advising against all non-essential travel to Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Austria.

Denmark advises against travel to Switzerland and three other countries
Photo: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The ministry updated its travel advisories on Thursday after the four countries passed Denmark’s limit of 30 new cases of Covid-19 per resident per week for the introduction of travel warnings.

The change comes into effect at midnight between Friday 18th and Saturday 19th September.

One of Denmark’s criteria for designating an EU or Schengen zone country, as well as the United Kingdom, ‘open' for travel is that the number of current coronavirus infections must be below 20 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Once a country is open, the critical limit for when travel advisories are tightened again is set at 30 cases of infection per 100,000 residents, measured over the past week.

In addition to the number of infections, Danish authorities also look at testing and the percentage of tests which are positive. A maximum of five percent of those tested may test positive.

Non-essential travel is already advised against for Andorra, Belgium, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Romania, Spain, Czech Republic, and Hungary. The advisories are not legally binding but Danish tourists' consumer rights are voided if they are not followed, DR has reported.

In addition to these countries, Denmark also currently advises against travel to Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia because of restrictions such as quarantine placed by these countries on arrivals from Denmark.

Norway is expected from Saturday to add the North Jutland and Zealand regions to its ‘red’ list of countries for which a 10-day quarantine requirement applies on arrival.

As such, Norway’s quarantine rules will from Saturday cover all Denmark and the Faroe Islands, but not Greenland.

But Denmark will not advise against travel to Norway because “it is still possible to spend a holiday in Norway if you stay in a suitable place of quarantine place”, according to the Danish foreign ministry.

READ ALSO: Norway to impose quarantine on travellers from all of Denmark

People who live in countries to which Denmark advises against travel are required to provide a so-called “worthy” (anerkendelsesværdigt) reason for entering Denmark. This can include work or family reasons but not tourism. Detailed guidance can be found on the Danish police website.

Residents of Denmark who travel to the North West of England are meanwhile advised to be tested for Covid-19 on their return home due to high infection rates in the UK area, the foreign ministry said in its update on Thursday.

The model for travel guidelines for EU and Schengen countries asks travellers to get tested after returning from a region where the number of infections has increased to 50 or more new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last week.

The travel guidelines published by the Danish foreign ministry are primarily aimed at Danish tourists. Business travel can be deemed ‘essential’, meaning travel to a country on Denmark’s ‘closed’ list for business purposes is not necessarily advised against.

Individual companies and employees can “assess whether a business trip is a necessary trip”, the ministry writes in the statement published on Thursday.

“We encourage companies and their employees to follow the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' special travel advice for business travel and stay up to date on local travel restrictions on the relevant embassy website,” it adds.

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”