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COVID-19 RULES

Denmark to allow festivals of up to 5,000 people from start of July

Denmark's government is to more than double to number of people allowed to take part in outdoor standing events, allowing music festivals of up to 5,000 people to take place.

Denmark to allow festivals of up to 5,000 people from start of July
Many festivals, such as Smukfest, cancelled after the government announced its reopening plans at the start of May. Photo: Sarah Christine Nørgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

The rules for standing events will be relaxed from July 1st, after the government yielded to appeals from the live music trade body Dansk Live, the Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Danish Industry.

“It’s wonderful that it will now be possible to have more participants at the summer’s festivals, concerts and other outdoor arrangements,” the country’s culture minister, Joy Mogensen, said in a press release.

Big festivals were largely left out of the reopening plan the government agreed with the other political parties at the start of May, with a slew of festivals cancelling after the parties agreed to allow only 2,000 participants at music festivals, divided into sections of 1,000 people.

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The Confederation of Danish Industry welcomed the decision, although they pointed out that further measures were required. 

“There are still companies, such as Tivoli [a Copenhagen amusement park], that get nothing out of a relaxation of the maximum number of guests, so long as strict requirements over area and sections still apply, as they do today,” the organisation’s deputy director, Henriette Søltoft, said.

In the press release, the government stressed that festivals scheduled for after July 1st that had cancelled despite having less than 5,000 participants would still be eligible for compensation from the government.

Under the reopening plan, on August 15th, the limit for the number of participants will be raised to 10,000, with sections of 2,500, and on September 1st, the restrictions will be lifted.

Member comments

  1. and yet, me being a Uruguayan national vaccinated with Pfizer I am not allowed to enter the country even if I provide negative tests and do the 2 week quarantine. What a scam Denmark!!

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COVID-19 RULES

Why Danish government is considering more scope for epidemic restrictions

The Danish government must currently receive the backing of parliament before implementing major interventions in response to a public health threat such as the Covid-19 pandemic. But an evaluation by two ministries suggests they favour more flexibility on the area.

Why Danish government is considering more scope for epidemic restrictions

Under current laws, parliament must vote to approve the categorisation of a disease as a ‘critical threat’ to society (samfundskritisk).

Only when a disease or an epidemic has been categorised in this way by parliament can all  of the interventions available to the government under the epidemic law be brought into play.

In other words, the government must face parliamentary checks and controls before implementing restrictions.

Those interventions range from the most invasive, such as lockdowns and assembly limits, to less invasive, but still significant, measures such as face mask mandates and health pass requirements like those seen with the coronapas (Covid-19 health pass) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Denmark decommissions country’s Covid-19 health pass

The Ministry of Health now wants to change the existing structure within the Epidemic Law, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported on Monday.

In an evaluation, the ministry proposes a change to the rules such that requirements for things like face masks and the coronapas can be introduced for diseases that are not only in the ‘critical threat’ category, but also for those rated an almen farlig sygdom, ‘dangerous to public health’.

This would put some of the restrictions in the lower category which is not subject to parliamentary control.

The evaluation was sent by the health and justice ministries to parliament in October but has escaped wider attention until now, Jyllands-Posten writes.

In its evaluation of the epidemic law, the Justice Ministry states that there is a “large jump” between the small pool of restrictions that can be introduced against ‘dangerous to public health diseases’ and the major societal interventions the government – with parliamentary backing – can use once a disease is classed as a ‘critical threat’.

“This jump does not quite seem to correspond with the actual demand for potential restrictions against diseases dangerous to public health, which can spread while not being critical to society,” the ministry writes.

The health ministry said in the evaluation the “consideration” should be made as to whether less invasive measures should continue to pass through parliament, as is the case under the current rules.

The national organisation for municipalities, KL, has told parliament that it backs the thinking of the ministries over the issue but that parliamentary control must be retained.

The Danish Council on Ethics (Det Etiske Råd) told Jyllands-Posten that it was “very sceptical” regarding the recommendation.

“The council therefore points out that a slippery slope could result if the restrictions, interventions and options that can be brought into use with diseases that present a critical threat to society, can also be used with dangerous diseases like normal influenza,” the council said.

The minority government’s allied political parties all stated scepticism towards the proposal, in comments reported by Jyllands-Posten.

In a written comment, the health ministry told the newspaper that Health Minister Magnus Heunicke would discuss committee stage responses with the other partied before deciding on “the need for initiatives”.

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