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TRAVEL NEWS

What you need to know about Denmark’s colour-coded travel rules

Denmark’s new colour system for classing travel restrictions went into effect at 4pm on Saturday, June 25th. Here’s what you need to know—including the new "shaded orange" category. 

At a glance: travel to and from the UK, US, and Australia

The UK is still technically classed as orange at the time of updating this article, meaning travellers need a worthy purpose to travel to Denmark unless they’re fully vaccinated. However, only Wales is actually classed as orange as of July 17th, with everywhere else now a red region within the UK. This means all travellers from England, Northern Ireland and Scotland will need to present a PCR test taken within the past 72 hours before boarding a plane to Denmark and will need to isolate upon arrival, even if previously vaccinated or infected. Danes are strongly discouraged against travel to the UK.

Travellers from the US and Australia will not have to isolate upon arrival and only people who are neither vaccinated nor previously infected need to be tested before entry.  Danes may find travel to the US and Australia difficult or impossible.

Green countries 

This update introduces a green risk category that applies to EU/Schengen countries with fewer than 50 cases per week per 100,000 inhabitants.

Travellers from green countries will no longer need to take a coronavirus test on arrival in Denmark, as they did when these countries were classed as yellow. 

Green countries currently cover most of the EU: Belgium, Bulgaria Cyprus, France (excluding the overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique and Mayotte), Greece, Italy, Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria.

Some regions in otherwise yellow countries are also considered green: Portugal’s Madeira and Spain’s Aragon, Asturias, Balearic Islands, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Ceuta, Extremadura, Galicia, Madrid, Melilla, Murcia and Valencia.

Yellow countries 

EU/Schengen countries with 60 or more new COVID cases per week per 100,000 inhabitants are now yellow: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Portugal, San Marino, Spain and Vatican City. 

EU residents travelling to Denmark from yellow countries and regions no longer need to isolate after arrival, or take a test before boarding their planes, but Danes considering travel to yellow countries are urged to be cautious. 

Outside the EU/Schengen area, Albania, Lebanon, Northern Macedonia, Rwanda and Serbia are yellow. 

Orange countries 

All countries outside the EU/Schengen area with a high risk of infection—but without significant levels of dangerous variants circulating—are orange. Travellers from orange countries need a worthy purpose to enter Denmark unless they are fully vaccinated and from an OECD country. Vaccinated people from non-OECD countries need a worthy purpose and a negative COVID test prior to entry, according to the Ministry of Justice. The Danish government advises Danes against unnecessary travel to orange countries.

Red countries

Red denotes areas where worrisome levels of coronavirus variants are circulating. Travellers from red countries and regions will need a PCR test from within the previous 72 hours before boarding an aircraft to Denmark and will have to isolate upon arrival. Within the EU/Schengen area, Reunion in France and three regions in the UK (Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton and Rossendale) are red. 

Farther afield, Bangladesh, Brazil, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Nepal, India, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe are all red. 

Danes are strongly encouraged to avoid travel to red countries and should consult with a doctor if it’s unavoidable. 

‘Shaded orange’ countries 

Shaded orange now designates an area or country with low virus circulation, but entry restrictions that would make it difficult or impossible for Danes to visit. In the opposite direction of travel—from shaded orange countries to Denmark—they’re functionally yellow. 

The Danish Ministry of Foreign affairs currently discourages travel to the following: Australia, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. 

Member comments

  1. Good morning,
    I live in British Columbia Canada, our COVID numbers are low!
    You mention travel from the US but never mention Canadian travellers. I am Danish born and visit my homeland quite often. We cancelled our trip home for this year but plan to come next year! I’m sure all will be well by then. Do you include Canada in your reference to US citizens traveling to Denmark! I feel Canada is even safer than the US!! Thank you, Inger

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TRAVEL NEWS

Tips for short-haul foreign travel from Denmark this Christmas

For the past two Christmases strict Covid rules prevented many people from travelling. This year that isn't an issue, but there are strikes, service reductions and high ticket prices to contend with.

Tips for short-haul foreign travel from Denmark this Christmas

Whether you’re a foreigner in Denmark planning a trip to see friends or relatives over the festive season, a second-home owner or you’re planning a Christmas or New Year trip to Denmark, there are several things worth keeping in mind when planning travel.

Strikes

If you’re taking a trip to the UK, be aware that rail workers are currently engaged in a protracted battle to secure pay increases that will help them cope with the soaring cost of living, and have not ruled out further strikes over the festive season.

If you’re going to Italy there are widespread air and rail strikes in November that could continue into December, while Germany has also seen airline strikes. Low-cost airlines in Spain are also staging strike action that is currently scheduled to last until after Christmas.

You can find the latest in Italy here, Spain here and Germany here.

Flying

Many airlines are struggling to bring back staffing to pre-pandemic levels, making it difficult for them to increase the number of flights to meet demand. The current oil prices have also significantly increased airlines’ fuel costs.

Long-haul flights have been particularly affected, with flights from Denmark to New Zealand for a family of four costing around 100,000 Danish kroner over the Christmas period.

Short-haul flights aren’t quite as jaw-dropping but can still be expensive.

One tip to consider, is flying from a different airport to reduce savings. 

“For the first time in six years of living here in Copenhagen we are using Billund airport to fly to the U.K. for Christmas as it was a third of the price of flying out of Copenhagen on the same dates in December,” The Local reader Rachel Prowse said.

Flights for two adults and two children for two weeks over Christmas from Copenhagen to London Stansted currently cost between 3,500 and 4,500 kroner. From Billund to London Stansted for a family of four it costs between 1,700 kroner and 2,500 kroner depending on the flight time. 

Another reader of The Local suggested advance booking and avoiding check-in luggage to keep costs down.

Trains

DSB is the national rail operator in Denmark. Timetables and tickets can be found at dsb.dk, including discounts for travelling outside of rush hours. The timetable for train travel over the Christmas period which includes slightly adjusted times.

Copenhagen central train station has direct services to Sweden and Germany. From Germany, you will have access to the rest of Europe.

Thanks to a newly launched overnight train service in 2021, you can catch an evening train from Copenhagen and wake up in either Hamburg or Berlin.

The train stops in Høje Taastrup and drops off in Hamburg and Berlin the following morning, although there are not many tickets left over the Christmas period. 

The Seat 61 website provides tips on how to travel comfortably and affordably by train. It includes an introduction to train travel in Europe, as well as an extensive search feature to find trains by starting location.

For example the website guides you through taking trains from Aarhus, Aalborg, Kolding, Odense or Copenhagen to Brussels, Cologne or Hamburg. From Brussels you can take the Eurostar onto London.

However be aware that the Eurostar is running around one third fewer services in order to avoid massive queues due to the post-Brexit passport check rules, and passengers are now advised to allow 90 minutes for pre-boarding checks. Financial troubles at the company have also seen ticket prices rise.

The Trainline is an international platform focused on train travel. The company is based in the UK but has extensive coverage of train travel in 45 countries across Europe.

The aim of the Trainline is find to the cheapest tickets for a selected route. Most of the time, this means booking in advance.

Ferry

An overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo for a family of four costs around 3,300 kroner without including meals. 

There are two ferry routes operating between Denmark and Sweden: Frederikshavn to Gothenburg and Grenaa to Halmstad, which costs around 900 kroner for a family of four without a car over Christmas.

You can travel between Denmark and the UK using ferries. You can take a train from Copenhagen to Hamburg, then Hamburg to Rotterdam and sail overnight from Rotterdam to Hull by P&O cruise ferry.

You can also take the overnight ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle by DFDS Seaways cruise ferry. You can get from Copenhagen to Amsterdam by train via Hamburg or you can take the car.

This method may not save you money but can make the journey more fun if you want to avoid airport delays.

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