Denmark’s extended face mask requirement takes effect: These are the rules you need to know

Denmark’s extended face mask requirement takes effect: These are the rules you need to know
Students and staff wearing face masks at Hillerød Tekniske Gymnasium on October 29th. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark now requires face masks to be worn at all indoor public places.

The restriction is one of a number of measures announced at the end of last week by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, as the country attempts to bring escalating Covid-19 infections under control.

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From October 29th, Denmark’s face mask requirements – previously only in force on public transport and in restaurants – now apply at all public indoor places.

The extended rules are to remain in place until January 2nd. Either face masks or visors can be used in the situations where the requirement applies – for simplicity, we will stick to referring to ‘face masks’ here.

Public indoor places can be assumed to include all supermarkets, stores, newsagents, convenience stores, shopping malls, libraries, museums, cinemas, gyms, educational institutes such as universities and colleges, and public health facilities including (but not only) hospitals and doctors’ surgeries.

The pre-existing requirement to wear face masks on public transport and in bars, cafes and restaurants when standing, remains in force.

At universities, the face mask rules will mean that students must wear the protective coverings while moving between different parts of university facilities, such as between classes. They will also have to wear them in canteens, corridors and all common areas.

The mandate will not apply when students are in classes or other teaching environments such as workshops, seminars, clinics or laboratories. Teaching staff who teach more than two classes or groups in the course of a day must wear a face mask.

School children, teachers and daycare staff are not required to wear a face mask while at schools or childcare facilities, but teachers and childcare staff are now permitted to do so if they wish.

At gyms and other sports facilities as well as cultural locations like museums, the face mask requirement applies to “customers, visitors, spectators and staff at the relevant sports facility or cultural institution,” the Ministry of Culture has confirmed in a statement.

Performers or athletes while competing, on stage or similar are not required to wear face masks.

If you go to the gym, you will not be required to wear a face mask while running on the treadmill or lifting weights, or while between machines. But they must be worn when arriving and leaving and in any other areas such as lounge areas.

It will also not be required to wear a face mask while sitting down (for example for spectators or audiences) or if it is not practically possible, such as when swimming or getting changed.

Although a slightly lower number of new infections was reported on Tuesday, Wednesday saw over 1,000 new cases registered in the daily report for the second time this week.

The total of 1,017 positive results came from 63,659 Covid-19 tests – a significantly higher number than Denmark usually tests in a day – giving a test positivity rate of 1.6 percent.

136 people are currently hospitalised with Covid-19 in Denmark. That figure exceeded 500 during the peak of the initial wave of the virus in March and April.


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  1. The use of visors (face shields) offers little to no protection. On the other hand, using a visor as well as a mask allows to protect from being infected through the eyes.

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