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VACCINATION

Denmark has already given 13,331 vaccine jabs

Denmark has already given 13,331 people their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, about 0.23 percent of the population, the country's infectious diseases agency SS1 said on Wednesday.

Denmark has already given 13,331 vaccine jabs
Health personnel are vaccinated at a hospital in Aalborg on Sunday. Photo: Region Nordjylland Lars Horn/Ritzau Scanpix
The country received 9,750 doses on Saturday and a further 38,000 doses on Monday, but health personnel report that they have been able to get an extra two doses from each five dose vial. 
 
SSI has started reporting its progress on vaccination daily here, with the numbers updated at 2pm daily. 
 
A chart put together by Our World in Data, suggests Denmark is ahead of Germany, Italy and several other EU countries on vaccinations, but there is as yet no centralised database for vaccination data, that might just reflect the way the data is being reported. 
 
 
 
The number of people being treated for coronavirus in Denmark's hospitals has meanwhile risen by a 26 to a reach a new record of 926, while a further 30 people have died with coronavirus. 
 
In one positive sign, the proportion of positive tests for coronavirus was just 2.55 percent, with 2,783 people testing positive out of 108,942 tests taken, the lowest proportion since December 25th.    
 
Denmark's government has decided to increase the use of rapid Covid tests at elderly care homes in order to slow the spread of the virus, the country's health minister Magnus Heunicke said at Tuesday night's press conference. 
 
“We will carry out rapid tests on the staff when they arrive as in the coming weeks, so we can detect and stop these infection chains as soon as possible before they reach an elderly care home,” he said. 
 
In the Copenhagen region, every third elderly care home had last week registered some cases of coronavirus. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

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.”

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