In addition to extending the country’s national lockdown, Denmark has also extended travel restrictions until the end of February.
The country’s foreign ministry confirmed the extension in a statement on Thursday, shortly after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen confirmed the three-week continuation of the lockdown.
As such, the foreign ministry will continue to advise against travel to the entire world until the end of next month.
“Continued limitation of travel activity is an important element in the efforts to control infection spread while mutations of coronavirus are occurring in several countries,” the ministry wrote in the statement.
Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod underlined the seriousness of the ministry advisory.
“The few people who travel on tourism holidays against our clear recommendations are failing to show solidarity with the many who make a huge effort each day to comply with the restrictions which, unfortunately, are now necessary,” he said in the statement.
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The extended restrictions mean that negative Covid-19 tests no more than 24 hours old are required to board flights to the country. An exception applies for individuals who have been infected with Covid-19 between the last 2-8 weeks.
Non-residents of Denmark are required to fulfil a ‘valid reason’ criterion for entering the country, while non-Danes who live in either the UK or South Africa are essentially banned from entering Denmark altogether. More detail on these rules including on valid reasons for entry can be found here.
A current ban on incoming flights from the United Arab Emirates is not encompassed by the extension, according to the foreign ministry statement. That ban is due to expire on February 2nd.
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The more infectious B117 variant has been projected to become the dominant form in Denmark by the middle of next month. It is known to be significantly more infectious than previous forms of Covid-19.
The third week of 2021 saw the variant detected in 231 positive tests for the coronavirus, according to SSI data.
That is a slight increase compared to the previous week, when 224 cases were detected.
But B117 was found in 13.5 percent of analysed swabs – significantly more than the 7.4 percent that was found the previous weeks in swabs tested for presence of the variant.
Additionally, the overall number of new cases of Covid-19 fell between the two weeks, which makes the slight increase in B117 prevalence notable.
A delay of around one week in results from genome sequencing to test for B117 is also inherent in the data, meaning it only covers the first five days of the week beginning January 18th, but all of the previous week.
A total of 772 incidences of the B117 variant have now been detected in Denmark. The more infectious form of Covid-19 was first reported in the United Kingdom in December 2020.
No new cases of another more infectious variant, B1351, have been detected. That variant is reported to have originated in South Africa. Four cases of this variant have been detected in Denmark overall.