Denmark to end general coronavirus compensation for businesses

Compensation packages available to all businesses impacted by coronavirus restrictions are to end on July 1st and be replaced by a model focusing on specified sectors.

Denmark to end general coronavirus compensation for businesses
All Danish businesses have been able to apply for coronavirus compensation since last year, but that will change on July 1st. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

A total of 1.65 billion kroner is to be spent on what has been termed a “summer and business package” aimed to help sectors including tourism and culture to get back on their feet following the coronavirus crisis.

A broad parliamentary majority approved the stimulus package following negotiations last night, with the Ministry of Finance subsequently confirming the deal.

General coronavirus compensation for businesses, which has been offered in some form throughout most of the pandemic, expires on July 1st and will be replaced by the new scheme aimed at particularly-affected businesses, the new agreement states.

The government’s expert economic group recommended that the general compensation system be allowed to expire given that many restrictions have now been lifted and much of society reopened, giving a gradual normalisation of economic activity, the ministry said.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s new reopening plan: Here’s what changes on May 21st

“The government and agreement parties have agreed to follow the expert group’s recommendations to replace the general compensation schemes with new customised versions which are specifically focused on at-risk businesses,” the ministry wrote.

The new system, which takes effect on July 1st remains in place for three months, allows businesses which have a turnover 45 percent or more under normal levels to apply for help to cover the cost of overheads.

“This scheme will be based on the existing graduated model beginning with a compensation rate of 55 percent at turnover loss of 45 percent,” the ministry statement reads.

Self-employed people who also lose income due to the coronavirus will also be able to apply for support under the new system.

Losses of 45 percent or more of turnover for self-employed people can be compensated by up to 90 percent until the end of September under the new agreement. Payouts are capped at 33,000 kroner per month for self-employed people who employ others and 30,000 kroner per month in general in July and August, before being reduced to 20,000 kroner in September.

Self-employed people who are still unable to reopen their businesses due to the remaining restrictions may apply for up to 100 percent of their turnover losses. The same maximum payouts apply.

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Denmark’s infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

Travellers from China should not need a negative Covid-19 test when arriving in Denmark, the national infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute recommended on Saturday, in an assessment sent to the Ministry of Health.

Denmark's infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

In the assessment by the State Serum Institute (SSI), it was noted that there aren’t expected to be a large number of arrivals coming directly from China and that any tests would have a marginal affect on Danish epidemic control.

However SSI wrote that it was still important to keep an eye on new variants of Covid-19 and suggested that a sample of voluntary-based PCR tests could be introduced for travellers from China.

The assessment was requested by Denmark’s health minister Sophie Løhde, following a recommendation on Wednesday by European Union experts to tighten travel rules.

Infection rates in China are high after it abolished its ‘zero Covid’ policy in late 2022, although no precise numbers are available.

Several European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and the UK, had already introduced testing requirements, while Sweden on Thursday announced a similar step, as did Germany, with an added announcement on Saturday to discourage non-essential travel from Germany to China.

The United States, Canada, India, South Korea and Taiwan have also put testing rules in place.

Health minister Sophie Løhde also asked SSI to assess testing waste water from aircraft landed from China. SSI responded that there is limited experience in this.

SSI currently analyses samples from shared toilet tanks at four airports twice a week – Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg and Billund. The method would have to be changed in order to detect new Covid-19 variants, which would take up to four weeks to implement, according to the assessment.

Løhde has informed the parliamentary parties about the assessment and has asked the Epidemic Commission for an advisory assessment, she said in a press release. Once this is done, the recommendations will be discussed.