How are Denmark’s coronavirus rules changing this week?

From today, Monday June 14th, people in Denmark no longer need to wear face masks in restaurants, bars, and museums, at concerts, cinemas, or almost anywhere else.

How are Denmark's coronavirus rules changing this week?
A discarded face mask by the road between Ringsted and Roskilde. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The only situation in a public place where it remains compulsory to wear a face mask is when standing on public transport.  Passengers no longer need to wear a mask when seated, at train stations or on rail platforms or bus stops. 

Talking to Denmark’s Ritzau newswire on Monday, Kasper Karmark Iversen, the chief doctor at Herlev-Gentofte Hospital, said that with infectious rates and hospitalisations falling despite the restrictions lifted over the past month, he was not concerned about the decision to drop the mask requirement. 

“We can not see the effect of the reopening so far, but these figures mean that I am not worried about what will happen – not even after the further reopening,” he said. 

READ ALSO: How Denmark’s coronavirus restrictions will be lifted between now and October

However, at a press conference on Thursday, the director of the Danish Health Authority, Søren Brostrøm said that masks were still recommended for anyone who: 

  • enters the public sphere when they are ill 
  • has coronavirus symptoms
  • knows they are infected with coronavirus
  • has been in close contact with an infected person
  • is in self-isolation and need to see a doctor or get tested

Other restrictions lifted on Monday include: 

  • the need to show a valid coronavirus passport to enter public libraries, when doing activities linked to voluntary organisations or clubs, at evening classes, or for when taking classes under the Folkeuniversitetet adult education system. 
  • the special time table that was in place at kindergartens, primary schools, after-school clubs, and centres for youth and adult education  
  • the special hygiene and distancing routines imposed on schools from April last year, including the need for parents to wear face masks when they drop off or pick up their children at school or kindergarten, the ban on parents entering the main rooms in kindergartens, the ban on children playing with other children from different divisions of a kindergarten, the extra cleaning and disinfection of toys brought in last April. 
  • Staff at kindergartens and primary schools who wish to wear a protective visor will continue to have the right to do so, Denmark’s ministry of education said in a press release on Friday.

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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.