SHARE
COPY LINK

NEWSLETTER

Denmark to fully reopen almost all schools and businesses this week

All indoor businesses and educational institutions, with the exception of nightclubs, are to reopen in Denmark from Friday May 21st.

Denmark to fully reopen almost all schools and businesses this week
The vast majority of business and education will be open in Denmark as of May 21st. File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The decision to again speed up the lifting of coronavirus restrictions was reached in the early hours of Tuesday morning as a majority of parliamentary parties agreed on the move.

A text outlining the agreement was subsequently published by the Ministry of Justice.

As such, businesses and education will essentially open fully from this Friday, with the exception of nightclubs and discotheques.

“If you take a blank piece of paper it would state that nightclubs and discotheques are closed from May 21st. But everything else is open,” the leader of the Conservative party, Søren Pape Poulsen, said following the agreement.

The new agreement speeds up the earlier schedule for phased lifting of restrictions on businesses and education.

It also sets out longer-term plans for phasing out face mask and corona passport requirements as well as home working.

Rules requiring the use of face masks and corona passports will be revoked when all people over 16 in Denmark have been offered vaccination, several party leaders said following Monday night’s talks. The end-stage of the vaccination programme is currently scheduled to be reached at the end of August.

“We will follow to the letter the agreement to phase out the corona passport. It is unfair for people to have to renew their corona passport all the time,” said Liberal party leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen.

READ ALSO:

A return to offices and shared workspaces is to occur in three steps. In the first phase, which begins on Friday, 20 percent capacity will be allowed while remaining staff must continue to work from home where possible. The proportion will increase to 50 percent on June 14th and 100 percent on August 1st.

The public assembly limit is scheduled to increase on Friday from 25 to 50 persons indoors and from 75 to 100 persons outdoors. That is in keeping with the existing plan for reopening.

Higher education can now return at 100 percent capacity on May 21st. The previous version of the reopening plan only allowed universities to open for 50 percent of students on that date.

All other adult education institutions, which have been allowed to reopen to varying extents, can now also return to normal capacity. Corona passports remain a requirement for students.

Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke said that the accelerated reopening and plans to phase out the corona passport were possible because of Denmark’s “healthy” position in the epidemic, despite a mild increase in case numbers in recent days.

“This is only possible because we are maintaining fundamental structures such as massive testing and local lockdowns. Those are the tools which enable us to now open further,” Heunicke said at a briefing following the announcement of the agreement.

Member comments

  1. Pls take care by getting vaccinated asap and help the planet too. Good really loves you, pls be safe, get both doses of the vaccine, after 2 weeks of the 2nd dose you’re vaccinated fully. Eat + exercise healthy to avoid any clots please use a mask with the full vaccine to prevent infections to unvaccinated people from any residue of the virus in you over previous infections. Others and I also love you! Luke 14 :25-33 Forsake all you have everyone and yourself for J

    Luke 16 :13 Work for J not pay$, then J will give you and your family the food and clothing if they follow too

    Matthew 25 :34-36, Mathew 6 :3-4, Luke 12 :33 Sell everything you got and give to poor and keep all giving in secret

    Mark 16 :15, John 17 :21 Share the Truth to everyone working with others in love and peace

    Revelation 13 :16-17 and 14 :9-11 Don’t take the mark of the beast right hand or forehead only way to buy or sell *It is not covid vaccine or mask, but maybe a microimplant \ quantum technology

    Revelation 17 :15-18 and 18 :8-10 U.S Is most likely the Babylon to be destroyed in one hour, with fire

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19 ALERT

Covid-19: European summer holidays threatened by rise of subvariants

A resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Europe, this time driven by new, fast-spreading Omicron subvariants, is once again threatening to disrupt people's summer plans.

Covid-19: European summer holidays threatened by rise of subvariants

Several Western European nations have recently recorded their highest daily case numbers in months, due in part to Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5.

The increase in cases has spurred calls for increased vigilance across a continent that has relaxed most if not all coronavirus restrictions.

The first resurgence came in May in Portugal, where BA.5 propelled a wave that hit almost 30,000 cases a day at the beginning of June. That wave has since started to subside, however.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: German Health Ministry lays out autumn Covid plan

Italy recorded more than 62,700 cases on Tuesday, nearly doubling the number from the previous week, the health ministry said. 

Germany meanwhile reported more than 122,000 cases on Tuesday. 

France recorded over 95,000 cases on Tuesday, its highest daily number since late April, representing a 45-percent increase in just a week.

Austria this Wednesday recorded more than 10,000 for the first time since April.

READ ALSO: Italy’s transport mask rule extended to September as Covid rate rises

Cases have also surged in Britain, where there has been a seven-fold increase in Omicron reinfection, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS blamed the rise on the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, but also said Covid fell to the sixth most common cause of death in May, accounting for 3.3 percent of all deaths in England and Wales.

BA.5 ‘taking over’

Mircea Sofonea, an epidemiologist at the University of Montpellier, said Covid’s European summer wave could be explained by two factors.

READ ALSO: 11,000 new cases: Will Austria reintroduce restrictions as infection numbers rise?

One is declining immunity, because “the protection conferred by an infection or a vaccine dose decreases in time,” he told AFP.

The other came down to the new subvariants BA.4 and particularly BA.5, which are spreading more quickly because they appear to be both more contagious and better able to escape immunity.

Olivier Schwartz, head of the virus and immunity unit at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said BA.5 was “taking over” because it is 10 percent more contagious than BA.2.

“We are faced with a continuous evolution of the virus, which encounters people who already have antibodies — because they have been previously infected or vaccinated — and then must find a selective advantage to be able to sneak in,” he said.

READ ALSO: Tourists: What to do if you test positive for Covid in France

But are the new subvariants more severe?

“Based on limited data, there is no evidence of BA.4 and BA.5 being associated with increased infection severity compared to the circulating variants BA.1 and BA.2,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said last week.

But rising cases can result in increasing hospitalisations and deaths, the ECDC warned.

Could masks be making a comeback over summer? (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

Alain Fischer, who coordinates France’s pandemic vaccine strategy, warned that the country’s hospitalisations had begun to rise, which would likely lead to more intensive care admissions and eventually more deaths.

However, in Germany, virologist Klaus Stohr told the ZDF channel that “nothing dramatic will happen in the intensive care units in hospitals”.

Return of the mask? 

The ECDC called on European countries to “remain vigilant” by maintaining testing and surveillance systems.

“It is expected that additional booster doses will be needed for those groups most at risk of severe disease, in anticipation of future waves,” it added.

Faced with rising cases, last week Italy’s government chose to extend a requirement to wear medical grade FFP2 masks on public transport until September 30.

“I want to continue to recommend protecting yourself by getting a second booster shot,” said Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza, who recently tested positive for Covid.

READ ALSO: Spain to offer fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose to ‘entire population’

Fischer said France had “clearly insufficient vaccination rates” and that a second booster shot was needed.

Germany’s government is waiting on expert advice on June 30 to decide whether to reimpose mandatory mask-wearing rules indoors.

The chairman of the World Medical Association, German doctor Frank Ulrich Montgomery, has recommended a “toolbox” against the Covid wave that includes mask-wearing, vaccination and limiting the number of contacts.

SHOW COMMENTS