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What are the new rules for travelling between Denmark and the UK

From Monday August 2nd, fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US will be able to travel to the UK without quarantining. But with almost all the UK currently "red", travellers coming to Denmark from the UK still face obstacles.

What are the new rules for travelling between Denmark and the UK
The departure area at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5. Photo: John Sibley/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

UK restrictions

From 4am on August 2nd, the UK government any travellers from amber level countries – which include Denmark —  arriving in Britain who have been fully inoculated with a vaccine recognised by the European Medical Agency or Swiss vaccination programme (Pfizer, Astra Zeneca, Moderna or Johnson &Johnson) can now skip the mandatory 10 day quarantine.

However, travellers (apart from children under 10)  will still need to provide a negative test no more than three days prior to travel.

UK rules allow either a PCR test or an antigen test of more than 97 percent specificity and 80 percent sensitivity – the rapid-result antigen tests available at pharmacies or testing centres around Europe meet this specification but most home-testing kits do not. 

Travellers from Denmark to the UK will also still need to take a PCR test on the second day after arriving in the country (apart from children aged 4 and under).

For fully vaccinated travellers, after the new rules take effect, the Day Two test will mark the end of their Covid travel requirements, assuming it comes back negative.

Unvaccinated travellers, however, must quarantine for 10 full days and take another test on or before Day Eight of their stay.

It is important to note that for test and quarantine purposes, the day of arrival is counted as Day Zero. The following day is Day One, the day after that Day Two, and so on.

Proof of purchase of the second test must be included on the passenger locator form, which everyone over age 18 must complete and submit within the 48 hours before they travel. Anyone who fails to take this Day Two test faces a fine of up to £2,000.

And, yes, even if your stay is a short one, before you travel you will need to book and pay for tests for Day Two and – if required because you’re not fully vaccinated at the time of travel – Day Eight.

The UK does accept lateral flow or antigen tests for pre-travel requirements.

People can travel from amber list countries for any reason – there is no need to prove that your trip is essential and entry is not limited to UK nationals or residents.

The UK has confirmed that it will accept the EU Digital Covid Certificate, which is included as part of Denmark’s coronapas app, as proof of vaccination. 


Denmark restrictions for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Denmark on July 17th classified the entire of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as “red regions”, with only Wales classified as “orange”, meaning all non-essential travel is discouraged for Danish residents. 

However, as the UK as a whole is still classified as “orange”, travellers from England, Northern Ireland and Scotland are still not treated as if they are coming from a “red” country. 

This means they only need to meet  the long list of “worthy purposes” for entering Denmark, which includes most business trips and family visits. You can read more about the specific rules and criteria for fulfilling a worthy purpose here.

In addition, under Denmark’s rules, those who are permanently resident in an OECD country ranked “orange” (such as the UK as a whole) and fully vaccinated or immune can travel to Denmark without a worthy purpose. This means that fully vaccinated or immune people can still travel to Denmark for tourism, wherever in the UK they are travelling from.  

The vaccine is treated as valid by Denmark from 14 days after the final dose has been given. Those who have been previously infected are treated as immune from 14 days after a positive PCR test, with the immunity valid for 180 days. 

Travellers from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland still face tougher testing and isolation requirements than those travelling from Wales, however. 

Unlike travellers from Wales, they have to isolate for up to 10 days on arrival in Denmark, even if vaccinated, and will need to present a negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours old prior to boarding their flights, and also take another test after entry to Denmark. 

Travelling to Denmark from Wales 

Travellers from Wales are only required to isolate on arrival in Denmark if they are not vaccinated or immune, or if they have visited a red region (eg, the whole of England, Scotland or Northern Ireland) in the ten days running up to their trip to Denmark. 

Vaccinated or immune travellers from from Wales do not need to present a negative Covid-19 test, either before boarding the plane or on arrival in Denmark, but instead need to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated or previously infected.

Travellers from Wales who have not been vaccinated do not need to show a negative PCR test before boarding their plane, but do need to present a negative test less than 72 hours old at the border control in Denmark. 

This can either be a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old at the time of entry, or an antigen rapid test less than 48 hours old, which can be obtained for free in Denmark in the arrival halls between your plane and border controls. 

Travellers from Wales who have visited England, Scotland or Northern Ireland in the ten days leading up to their trip will need to fulfil the same requirement as travellers from these “red” regions. 

The worthy purposes which allow travel from an orange country outside the European Union include:

  • Work, business, studies etc.
  • A job in Denmark
  • Attending a business meeting
  • Carrying out services or transport goods in or out of Denmark
  • Being a seaman, aircraft crew member, or a diplomat
  • Having a job interview in Denmark
  • Being a pupil or student in Denmark (but only if physical presence is required)
  • Having a traineeship in Denmark
  • Attending a folk high school programme
  • Having an au pair placement

There are also “private matters” which constitute a worthy purpose to enter Denmark. These include:  

  • Being a spouse, live-in partner, parent, grandparent, brother or sister, stepbrother or stepsister, child or grandchild of a person resident in Denmark
  • Being spouse, live-in partner, parent of a Danish national resident abroad when you are travelling to Denmark together
  • Being the spouse, live-in partner, child, or stepchild of a person sent by another state who holds a diplomatic passport or a similar document
  • Being the parent of a minor living in Denmark
  • Being the primary caregiver of a minor living in Denmark
  • Being related to or in a relationship with a seriously ill or dying person in Denmark
  • To participate in the birth of a child
  • To continue treatment at a healthcare institution
  • To attend a funeral or burial of immediate family members
  • Owning property, a boat or a permanent place at a campsite in Denmark

Official guidance on testing and isolation requirements, as well as on the valid reasons for entry from orange countries can be found in English here

Member comments

  1. Danes can enter the UK without having to quarantine for 10 days but if I enter Denmark from the UK I will have to quarantine for 10 days. Really unfair because people from the UK still can’t visit their families.

  2. Denmark must take the UK of it’s Red List as there are many in the UK like me who have family in DK but are unable to see them without having to quarantine for 10 days.

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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.