IN DETAIL: The coronavirus restrictions Denmark plans to lift, and when they will be lifted

A plan for reopening presented by the Danish government provides for the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions at two-week intervals.

IN DETAIL: The coronavirus restrictions Denmark plans to lift, and when they will be lifted
Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The plan, back by a broad parliamentary majority, sets out various phases for the reopening, each separated by two weeks in which authorities will be able to assess whether the country’s current situation with the virus allows for the next stage to be entered safely.

Additionally, in order to keep to the reopening schedule set out in the plan Denmark must keep up with its current plan for rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. In other words, it must receive the vaccines is currently is expecting on schedule throughout the spring.

Although that allows for some flexibility in the timeline, it is now possible to note specific dates for the planned ending of many of the current restrictions.

The important dates, and restrictions which will be lifted on those dates under the current plan, are set out below.

Note on ‘vaccine passports’

The use of vaccine passports means that documentation of either vaccination, a recent negative test, or recent (no longer active) infection will be required to use certain services when they reopen, according to broadcaster DR’s report on the agreement.

The agreement includes a sundown clause on vaccine passports, news wire Ritzau writes. That means that they can no longer be required when everyone in Denmark has been offered a vaccine, which is likely to be by August this year according to the current vaccination calendar.

April 6th

Further relaxation of school closures will continue after Easter, progressing the gradual reopening of schools which has been ongoing this month. Pupils from the fifth to eighth grades will be allowed to physically attend school – including for indoor lessons – to a greater extent than under current rules. They will be allowed go to school every other week, with remaining lessons still taking place from home.

Youth and adult education will also partially return, with final year students allowed to return full time and others 20 percent of the time physically present at classes.

Service industries referred to in Denmark at liberale erhverv, such as hairdressers, tattooists and massage parlours, will be allowed to return to business on this date. However, vaccine passports will be required to use them.

April 21st

Larger shopping will be malls allowed to open by the third week of April, provided infection numbers are still satisfactory. That will follow the opening of smaller malls and department stores (under 15,000 square metres) on April 13th.

Cultural facilities such as museums, art galleries and libraries will allowed to open, with vaccine passports required for access.

Should things go to plan, it will also be possible to eat out in Denmark for the first time this year, with restaurants allowed to serve outside.

Finally, outdoors sports for children and young people up to the age of 18 will resume in full.

May 6th

Concert venues, theatres and cinemas allowed to open and restaurants now permitted to operate indoor services. Requirement for valid vaccine passport.

Sports for people over the age of 18 will also be allowed again on this date, but specific details are not clear at the time of writing.


May 21st

At this point, if infections are still controlled, all sports, leisure and association-based activities not permitted in previous rounds will now reopen.

Indoor parts of amusement parks, zoos and other outdoor cultural facilities will be allowed to reopen. Such attractions have been allowed to open since the beginning of this month, but only for their outdoors areas.

Evening schools and other auxiliary education like daily attendance at folk high schools (daghøjskoler) can reopen, although face mask, social distancing and limits on opening hours will remain in place. Vaccine passports will also be required here.

Once these dates have all been passed, the government says it plans for the majority of restrictions to be lifted once all people over 50 have been vaccinated against the virus. The current vaccination programme will see this point reached by the end of May.

The agreement text sets out a fixed point for ending restrictions “when the oldest and vulnerable citizens and citizens over 50 years old have been vaccinated with the first dose, if they want it”.

That point will signal the end of most restrictions, although some will remain including those “in relation to events which carry a risk of superspreading, including large events and nightlife, travel restrictions and general measures to reduce infections,” the agreement states.

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.”