Denmark introduces badge for non-face mask wearers

A new badge will allow people in Denmark to signal they are unable to wear face masks for health reasons.

Denmark introduces badge for non-face mask wearers
Photo: Sundhedsstyrelsen

The badge can be worn by people who are exempted from Denmark’s current requirement to wear face masks in all public indoors areas, including public transport and supermarkets, the Danish Health Authority said in a statement.

It consists of a picture of a face mask along with the word fritaget — 'exempt' in Danish.

Health conditions that can affect breathing, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as anxiety, are included as valid reasons for not wearing the protective covering.

Danish Health Authority head of department Niels Sandø said the new badge would prevent people from being shamed for not wearing a face mask.

“There have been situations, such as in supermarkets, where members of the public have been looked at strangely or had other customers demand they explain why they are not wearing a face mask or visor,” Sandø said in a statement.

“It can be very unpleasant for individuals to be subjected to that. To avoid such situations, we have brought out a badge,” he said.

It should be noted that wearing the badge is not a requirement for people who are not required to wear a face mask.

“The badge should be a reminder to the surroundings that there is someone who can’t wear a mask or visor,” Sandø said.

“We can therefore ask everyone to be tolerant towards each other and remember that there might be a good reason someone is not wearing a face mask or visor,” he added.

The badge can be order via relevant patient societies and municipal institutions such as shelters, and can also be ordered via printer Rosendahls.

The Danish Health Authority has previously released a badge which can be worn to remind others to maintain a social distance.

READ ALSO: Why people in Denmark are wearing 'social distance badges'

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


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.”