What isn’t covered in Denmark’s plan for lifting of Covid-19 restrictions?

What isn’t covered in Denmark’s plan for lifting of Covid-19 restrictions?
File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark has announced a plan to lift many of its current coronavirus restrictions by the end of May, but the future of some of the current rules remains unclear.

In an announcement late Monday, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen unveiled the plan for a return to normal which will see schools and universities, shops, restaurants and bars, libraries, museums and cinemas gradually reopen over a period of two months. 

“With a few exceptions, Danish society should be open when everyone over the age of 50 has been vaccinated,” set to be done by the end of May, she said.

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Some areas are still awaiting clarification following the past day’s announcements.

Travel

Few hints are given in the agreement text as to when travel in and out of Denmark may begin to return to something resembling pre-Covid conditions.

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.

It also states that the government will look for a way to ease restrictions on foreign travel after May 21st, the final date in the plan for lifting restrictions.

The government will “work towards allowing travel with corona vaccines and anti-infection measures – provided that authorities consider data from the countries in question to be valid and trustworthy”.

Public assembly limit

The limit on the number of people who are allowed to gather in public places was increased from 5 to 10 effective Monday, and from 25 to 50 for organised sports activities. But no definite outline was given in the new plan for further increases to that limit.

A plan will be offered in mid-April for the phasing-out of the public assembly limit, according to the text of the agreement announced on Monday night.

“The government will call negotiations such that the phasing-out of the assembly ban is integrated into the gradual reopening,” the agreement states.

The plan will be based on recommendations made by the government’s expert Epidemic Commission, Ritzau writes.

Events

The government has remained vague on when major sporting and cultural events could see audiences return, including the Roskilde Festival and football matches in the European Championship scheduled to be hosted in Copenhagen in late June.

The plan does however provide for an expert group, which the government has called “fast-working” (hurtigtarbejdende), which will provide recommendations for large-scale, corona-safe events. The recommendations will be ready by mid-April, according to the plan, which was agreed between the minority government and a broad section of parliament.

The director of the Roskilde Festival, Signe Lopdrup, told news wire Ritzau that she remained positive over the event’s prospects for taking place this year.

“If not, I assume we’d have been informed that it wouldn’t be possible,” she said.

“So our planning continues with renewed intensity – otherwise, we’ll run out of time,” she added in a written comment.

The director of the event, which is Scandinavia’s largest music festival and was cancelled in 2020, also said she’d have preferred a definite answer now rather than later in the spring. The 2021 event is scheduled to open on June 26th.

READ ALSO: Danish festival organisers can ‘carefully’ plan events with support package agreed


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