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IN DETAIL: What changes on Thursday in the next phase of Denmark’s reopening?

IN DETAIL:  What changes on Thursday in the next phase of Denmark's reopening?
The Palads cinema in Copenhagen is one of the country's oldest cinemas. Photo: Anne Bæk/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish government has announced a new political agreement which have further pushed forward the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. These are the rule changes which come into effect on Thursday, May 6th.

The new deal slightly accelerated the timetable set in the framework agreement struck on April 14th, in which the parties agreed to phase the reopening of the country in two-week intervals, with the next relaxation scheduled for May 21st. 

Schools, vocational, and adult education

All students in Danish schools will return to the classroom full time on Thursday or “as soon as possible afterwards”, if schools need more time to prepare. 

This means that those in Grades 5 to 8 (between the ages of 11 and 15), who had been attending classes physically half time, and those from Grade 9 (aged 15), who had been attending physically 80 percent of the time, will now end home education completely. 

Since April 21st, those in Grades 5-8 have been able to attend outside lessons with their classes in the weeks when they are not in classrooms. Students in pre-school class, Grades 1-4, had already returned to physical lessons full-time. 

Students in their final, graduating year of upper secondary, vocational, or adult education can return to physical lessons full-time (they were back at 80 percent from April 21st). Those in other years will have to wait until May 21st. 

Universities 

Students at universities in Copenhagen, North, and East Zealand can now attend classes physically 30 percent of the time (up from 20 percent), and will also be able to have classes and university events outdoors. This puts these regions on the same basis as universities elsewhere in Denmark. See more details in this press release from the Ministry of Higher Education.

Students doing courses with a high amount of practical elements (such as nursing or medicine) who are also graduating this year will continue to be able to attend 50 per cent of the time (every other week), and there will continue to be access to reading rooms, libraries and study groups on campus. 

All staff and students who attend physically will need to show a coronavirus passport showing a negative test less than 72 hours old or a completed vaccination. 

Concert venues, theatres, and cinemas 

Music venues, theaters and cinemas can reopen for up to 2,000 spectators, in sections of 500 people. All spectators must show a coronavirus pass before entering. 

The reopening will be under the same guidelines as were in place before cinemas and theatres closed in December, meaning spectators will need to be seated, facing a stage, with a gap between individuals, couples or groups who have come together. 

The number of spectators will also be limited per square metre, something venues said would mean they could only fill their venues to a third or a quarter full.  

The reopening means Danes can finally see Thomas Winterberg’s Oscar-winning film Druk, or ‘Another Round’ in the cinema, with the film showing in most of the reopened chains. 

The Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen is reopening with the drama I disappear, Jeg forsvinder by the Norwegian playwright Arne Lygre. 

Copenhagen’s Vega music venue is putting on a concert with four up-and-coming female singers on Friday, in one  of the ‘Vega Selection’ nights that have helped launch the careers of now-famous singers such as Mø. 

Restaurants 

You will no longer have to reserve your table at bars, restaurants and cafés 30 minutes in advance, ending the much-criticised rule that owners had blamed for sharply reduced custom. 

You will still need to show proof of a completed vaccination or negative coronavirus test less than 72 hours old to sit or stand inside a bar or restaurant. 

Restaurants will from May 6th be allowed to stay open later than 11pm for private events where participants already know one another, such as weddings, silver anniversaries, gold anniversaries, confirmations, graduation parties, and birthdays, w

The organisers must make sure that only those invited have access to the venue, the party must be restricted to a single room or area of the premises, and the organisers follow other social distancing and hygiene guidelines. 

Restaurants and bars will be able to serve alcohol until 5am if it’s for a private party, so expect wild nights in Copenhagen to begin, and a lot of big birthday celebrations. 

Nightclubs will not be allowed to open until later. 

Sport and fitness

Sports centres will open for weight training, fitness training, and indoor sports for those over the age of 18, although contact sports such as judo, wrestling and boxing are excluded. Read details (in Danish) here on the Ministry of Culture and Sports’ website. 

The maximum group for indoor sports and fitness has been increased from 10 people to 25 people (following the maximum allowed indoor gathering). You will need to show a negative test less than 72 years old or a completed vaccination on a corona passport to enter sports or fitness centres and classes. 

The agreements also allows all indoors sports (including contact sports) for those under the age of 18, and allows those over the age of 70 to attend fitness centres on the same grounds as other adults. 

Fitness centres, including fitness centers in hotels, will opened for those with a valid coronavirus passport. 
 
Commercially-run gyms and fitness centres have been asked to hire additional staff to check coronavirus passes of all present and to make sure that the right hygiene measures are in place and correctly followed.
 
Sports clubs that are run on a voluntary and non-commercial basis are required under the deal to carry out spot checks at least twice a week to ensure that everyone attending has a valid coronavirus pass. 

Conferences and business meetings 

Conferences and business meetings will be allowed for up to 1,000 participants, divided into groups of 500, although participants must be mostly seated. Attendees will have to show a valid coronavirus pass. 

Attendees in standing conferences require four square metres per person while those seated require two square metres, with at least one metre’s distance between each (about one empty seat). 

Increase in maximum allowed indoor and outdoor gathering 

The maximum allowed private gathering increases to 25 indoors and 75 outdoors (from 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from April 21st). 

The maximum allowed indoor gathering is set to go up to 50 on May 21st, before reaching 100 on June 11th. The maximum outdoor gathering is set to be increased to 100 on May 21st and completely revoked on June 11th.

 


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