Denmark’s new quarantine entry requirement begins

The requirement for a test and ten days of isolation upon entry into Denmark has started on Sunday 7th February, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Denmark's new quarantine entry requirement begins
Copenhagen airport. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark has previously requested people arriving from so-called ‘red' risk zones for Covid-19 to isolate but has not enforced quarantine. That practice will now change, the health ministry said in a statement last week.

In a new press release on Saturday, the Ministry of Transport confirmed the new requirements would take place from Sunday February 7th in order to limit the spread of the new and more contagious variants of coronavirus. 

The rules apply to both Danish citizens and foreigners.

The new variants are expected to account for about 80 percent of infection cases in Denmark at the beginning of March, the press adds.

“It is therefore crucial that we do what we can to keep infection – and especially new mutations – out of Denmark”, says Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke in the press release.

The new entry requirements apply at all borders, so at airports, sea and land borders.

Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht says in the press release that it is good that tests are now required “because we must also state that unfortunately there have been examples of people who have chosen to go on holiday trips without thinking that the rest of society is struggling to keep the infection down so we can come back to a more normal everyday life.”

If the requirements are not complied with, there can be a fine of 3500 kroner. 

Certain exemptions will apply, including for people living in border regions and people who regularly cross the Danish border as part of their work. Other reasons including transport and essential services may also provide exemption from quarantine rules.

The isolation period can be shortened by showing a negative coronavirus test on the fourth day at the earliest after entering Denmark.

The new requirements and rules are provisionally valid until 28th February. There is more information here.

Denmark also on Sunday lifted a ban on flights coming from the United Arab Emirates. The ban was introduced on January 23rd.

READ ALSO: These are Denmark's current Covid-19 travel restrictions



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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.”