Denmark to allow residents to return from UK under new entry restrictions

A new travel ban will prevent UK residents from entering Denmark from December 25th but residents of Denmark will be allowed to return from the UK.

Denmark to allow residents to return from UK under new entry restrictions
Arrivals at Copenhagen Airport. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

A travel ban applying to residents of the UK is to be issued by the Ministry of Justice and will take effect on 25th December. The ban will not apply to Danes.

British citizens and other people travelling from the UK who are resident in Denmark will be allowed to return to Denmark, the justice ministry confirmed in a statement.

The new travel restrictions will replace a current blanket ban on all incoming flights from the UK, which is set to expire at midnight on Christmas Eve.

READ ALSO: Denmark extends ban on flights from UK due to Covid-19 mutation

The decision to tighten travel restrictions against the UK was taken due to the spread of a mutated form of Covid-19, the justice ministry said.

The new variant of the coronavirus is believed to have first appeared in London and Kent and is reported to be up to 70 percent more contagious than other strains. Based on what scientists know so far, the variant does not appear to cause more serious illness than other kinds of coronavirus.

All foreign nationals who reside in the UK will be turned away at the border once the ban comes into effect.

The following groups from the UK will be exempted and granted entry to Denmark:

  • Primary carers for children under the age of consent (upon documentation of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Denmark)
  • Family or partners to seriously ill or dying persons in Denmark (upon documentation of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Denmark)
  • Inward travel for the purpose of goods transport

Danish citizens and people who are resident in Denmark will be allowed to enter Denmark from the UK from December 25th.

Authorities in Denmark are “strongly recommending” travellers arriving from the UK to take a Covid-19 test and self-isolate for 10 days.

“We can unfortunately state that a new mutation of Covid-19 which appears to be particularly infectious has spread in the United Kingdom. That is serious, and in this situation it is important to limit the number of people in Denmark infected with the mutated virus as much as possible,” justice minister Nick Hækkerup said in the statement.

“We have therefore decided to implement stricter entry restrictions for foreigners who live in the United Kingdom,” Hækkerup continued.

The new restrictions on entry from the UK will be effective from December 25th up to and including January 3rd.

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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.”