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FEATURE

What changes about life in Denmark in May 2021?

Coronavirus restrictions, toys, tyres and vaccine passports are among the areas set to see announcements, updates or rule changes in Denmark in May.

What changes about life in Denmark in May 2021?
Drive-in cinemas became more popular in Denmark in 2020, but the indoors version could soon make a return. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

Next phases in gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions 

Next month will see a continuation of the plan, recently updated, to gradually lift many coronavirus restrictions. Each phase of the plan is contingent on infection rates remaining satisfactorily controlled and vaccinations progressing as expected. The use of corona passports plays a key role in eased restrictions.

On May 6th concert venues, theatres and cinemas are allowed to open.

The public assembly limit indoors, currently 10 persons, will further increase to 25 people, while the outdoor assembly limit will increase to 75.

The following phase of reopening on May 21st sees the limit go up again, to 50 persons indoors and 100 outdoors. Meanwhile all sports, leisure and association-based activities not permitted in previous rounds reopen, if infections are still controlled.

Indoor parts of amusement parks, zoos and other outdoor cultural facilities will be allowed to reopen. Such attractions have been allowed to open since March, 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.

The government previously said it plans for the majority of restrictions to be lifted once all people over 50 have been vaccinated against the virus. An earlier version of the national vaccination calendar projected this point would be reached by the end of May, but the projection has since been moved back. In the latest version of the calendar, vaccination of the group covering this age begins on May 17th and is scheduled to end by July 4th.

READ ALSO:

New EU toy directives come into force in May

From May 21st, the EU will set new strict limits on the amount of aluminium and formaldehyde that can go into toys. The substances may then only be used in small quantities for processing and production. 

International ‘vaccine passport’ to launch

Starting in May, the “IATA (International Air Travel Association) Travel Pass” will be the first to test travel with a vaccination certificate. The smartphone app allows travellers to store and manage certifications for Covid-19 tests or vaccinations. It aims to facilitate air travel under pandemic conditions, and help travellers avoid quarantines whenever possible. 

The data should remain under the control of the passengers, the association assures. The app is available now for iOS, and a version for Android is also expected to be available soon. 

WhatsApp releases new conditions

This change is one that has been long announced and even postponed, but now it’s getting serious. The new WhatsApp GTCs will come into force on May 15th.

What does this mean for you? If you haven’t agreed by this date, you won’t be able to use the Messenger app for the time being.  If you’re still unsure, your account will be set to “inactive” on the cutoff date.

This means that you can receive messages and calls, but you are no longer allowed to compose new messages yourself. You can do this for up to 120 days – then your account will be deleted forever.

New rules on tyre markings

This sounds like it could be one for the purists but stick with us. An EU directive comes into effect on May 1st requiring tyre makers to provide more specific labelling on their products. Producers will also be obliged to enter specifications on an EU database.

Consumers will be able to use this database to compare products, with the aim of making the market more transparent and easier to find safe and environmentally friendly products. You can read more about this (in Danish) via the Danish Road Traffic Authority.

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For members

WEATHER

Essential rain gear for a wet Danish winter (and autumn, spring and summer)

Winter in Denmark is a shock to the system, particularly for those of us who come from warmer, drier climes. But if you know where to look, you can find the right rain gear to keep the Danish drops off your head.

Bicycling in wet Danish weather doesn't have to be
Bicycling in wet Danish weather doesn't have to be "træls" (bothersome) if you're kitted out in the right water resistant gear. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

This roundup is unsponsored and the fruits of much googling, review-reading, and recommendation-begging by a sad, damp American.

Where to shop? 

To try things on, the best places are Intersport, Spejder Sport (home to Columbia, Patagonia, Asivik and FjällRaven) and Eventyr Sport, as well as outdoor outfitter Friluftsland.  

To shop the Danish way, put in the hours combing the racks at your local second hand or charity shop. If you strike out there, search by brand on DBA.dk or Facebook marketplace.

Rain jackets: Regnjakker

Your rain jacket is your second skin in Denmark during the damp winter months. Helly Hansen is a go-to brand, according to a Johannes, a Jutland native who offered his recommendation to The Local. The Norwegian company offers well-made jackets at a reasonable price point, ranging between 600 and about 1,500 kroner. These can be ordered direct from the manufacturer or on Amazon.de (the German one) for delivery in Denmark—if you want to try before you buy, go to Eventyr Sport.  

A budget pick is McKinley, which you can pick up at Intersport. These cost between 200-400 kroner.

The classic Scandinavian splurge rain jacket is Fjällräven—these are available in stand-alone Fjällräven stores, Friluftsland, Eventyr, and Spejder Sport, and cost a not-unsubstantial percentage of your rent starting at about 2,500 kroner and climbing north of 6,000 kroner.

Rain pants: regnbukser

Rain pants are a novelty to those of us who don’t come from bike cultures, but after your first rainy day cycling commute leaves you at the office with drenched trousers you’ll understand the appeal.

The New York Times’ product review service Wirecutter highlights the Marmot PreCip Eco Pant as the best pick—here in Denmark, they’re available for men and women at outdoor gear purveyor Friluftsland for about 700-800 kroner.

McKinley also makes rain pants that will set you back around 200 kroner.  

Some of Patagonia’s rain pants, which we found at Spejder Sport, have side zippers for ventilation—if you’re on the sweatier side, this may be a good call. (Their website also proudly reports these rainpants roll up to the “size of a corncob.”)

Rain sets: regnsæt

Also on the market are rain sets, which are coordinating jacket-pant combos like this one from Asivik. It’s cheaper to buy the set rather than both pieces separately, but for many people it makes more sense to invest in a higher-quality rain jacket and go for a more affordable rain pant.

Backpack rain covers: regnslag til rygsæk

Backpack rain covers are an easy buy and cost orders of magnitude less than the laptops and other electronics they protect. Snag one on the way out the door at Intersport, Spejder Sport, or most anywhere that sells rain gear. Expect to pay about 60-180 kroner—just make sure it fits your backpack.

Gloves: Handsker

Your favourite fluffy mittens may not be well suited for your bike commute. GripGrab, a Danish company popular all over the world, offers a variety of waterproof and winterproof gloves— including the lobster style, which has split fingers that allow you the dexterity to ring your bell, pull your hand break and do a Spock impression at a moment’s notice. These are available at specialty cycling stores.

Rain boots: Gummistøvler

Perfectly serviceable budget rainboots are available at the same retail stores discussed above—though for longevity, look for boots made from rubber rather than PVC.

At a higher price point, Hunter rainboots are sold by Danish online retail giant Zalando and keep you dry and in style.

Tretorn is a Swedish brand over a hundred years old—their rain boots are available for both men and women through Spejder Sport and, of course, their website.

For women: available on the German Amazon website is the Asgard Women’s Short Rain Waterproof Chelsea Boot, one of the best reviewed women’s rain boots that doesn’t make you feel like you’re wearing clown shoes.

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