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What changes about life in Denmark in July 2021?

Free ferries, bigger festivals and outdoor concerts, and the EU's digital Covid-19 pass. Here are some of the things that change in Denmark in July.

What changes about life in Denmark in July 2021?
The free ferries were one of the big hits of 202s "summer package". Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Changes to Coronavirus restrictions 

From July 1st, restaurants where customers “essentially sit down” will no longer need to be able to provide two square metres of space per customer, or ensure a two-metre gap between each different party of customers. 

The maximum number of people allowed to partake in indoor gatherings will also increase to 250. 

The maximum number of people allowed to attend big outdoor cultural events, festivals, and concerts, also to 5,000 people, opening the way for a string of mini-festivals. See our story here.   

From July 15th,  bars and restaurants will be able to stay open until 2 am, while restrictions on the sale of alcohol will also be relaxed. 

Europe’s new digital Covid-19 pass comes into effect 

On July 1st, the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate will come into full use, meaning Danish residents will be able to use their coronapas to travel across the EU and the Schengen region. Denmark already began accepting other EU countries’ EU Digital COVID Certificates from June 26th. 

Those with medical reasons not to have a coronapas must prove it 

From July 1st,  people who for medical reasons, or as a result of physical and mental disability, cannot have a Covid-19 test, must be able to present documentation proving their exemption. This documentation must be presented whenever there is a requirement to show a test or coronapas. Here’s the announcement of this change. 

Covid support packages

Due to the lifting of restrictions and the return of economic activity, the general compensation schemes are all phased out by the end of June 2021.

In accordance with the recent political agreements from May and June 2021 on a summer and business package, the general compensation schemes are exchanged with a narrower set of schemes for companies and self-employed that are still suffering economically from Covid-19.

More specifically, an adjusted compensation scheme for fixed costs and one for self-employed will be in place from the July 1st until the end of September 2021.

Free ferry tickets start to be available 

From July 1st, Danish ferry companies will start issuing free tickets to Danish islands to cyclists, pedestrians and cars with disabled badges, with the Danish government footing the bill. 

The Molslinjen will be offering free tickets on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on trips to the islands of Als, Langeland, Samsø, Fanø, and Bornholm.  To get the free tickets, just book on the Molslinjen website, and you will be reimbursed the following day. 

Denmark’s Rejsepas travel comes into force 

So this really started on June 26th, but for just 399 Danish kroner you can travel on trains, buses and local trains all over Denmark as much as you like for eight consecutive days, with the last tickets sold on August 1st (and valid until August 8th). There are only 100,000 available, so it is possible that the participating companies, DSB, Arriva and a host of local transport companies, might run out. You can buy one here

The proper Danish summer holiday begins 

For the last two weeks of July many companies in Denmark close down completely, which is either frustrating or a relief depending on your position. It might be possible to make contact with a few of the people you do business with in Denmark for the first two weeks of this month, but everything is already starting to slow down. 

The Copenhagen Jazz Festival

The Copenhagen Jazz festival has expanded from ten days to encompass the first three weeks of July, allowing the performances to be less crowded and limited to safe venues and numbers. The pandemic, has, however, meant the festival has an unusually local line-up making it more of a showcase of Scandinavian jazz talent, with pianist Nikolaj Hess, saxophonist Jakob Dinesen, and singer Helle henning some of the big draws. 

New rules giving greater oversight over Foreign Direct Investment in Denmark come into force 

New rules come into force on July 1st which mean that any investment which directly or indirectly gives the investor 10 percent or more of the shares, voting rights, or equivalent control in a Danish company in the critical sectors such as defence, IT security, or treatment of classified information, potential dual-use products, critical technology, or critical infrastructure is automatically referred to the Danish Business Authority for mandatory screening. 

The EU e-commerce package enters Danish law 

The EU’s e-commerce package will enter Danish law on July 1st, meaning VAT will no longer be waived on goods worth less than 80 Danish kroner imported into Denmark from outside the EU. 

In relation to imports from countries outside the EU, then ordinary consumers will find that they have to pay VAT to a larger extent than they do today, because the threshold has been abolished and in some cases lowered,” said Mette Christina Juul, a lawyer a the Danish law firm Plesner. 

Member comments

  1. The real question is when will they let people enter the country, we have been waiting for a year and a half already. OUTRAGEOUS!!! NOT EVEN PFIZER VACCINATED WITH NEGATIVE COVID TESTS FROM THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES

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For members


KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in August 2022?

New parental leave rules come into force, schools return and summer flight disruption are among changes and events coming to Denmark this autumn.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in August 2022?

‘Earmarking’ parental leave laws take effect

New Danish parental leave rules, ratified last year to bring the country into line with EU directives, take effect in August.

After the EU in 2019 passed a directive which required member states to ensure a minimum of nine weeks’ “earmarked” parental leave for each parent by 2022, discussions in 2021 between the government and labour market representatives resulted in an agreement over new rules, which was passed by parliament towards the end of last year.

The parental leave is called “earmarked” (øremærket in Danish) because the two parents cannot transfer the leave from one to another, which would allow one parent to take all or nearly all of the statutory parental leave.

Under the outgoing system, 32 weeks of parental leave (forældreorlov) could be distributed between parents as much or either sees fit and can be taken concurrently or consecutively.

The new rules tag more of the statutory parental leave to each parent, with 24 weeks of leave granted per parent following the birth of a child, with a total of 11 weeks “earmarked” for each parent.

The mother has a right to four weeks’ pregnancy leave prior to giving birth and both parents can take two weeks’ parental leave immediately after the birth.

That leaves a remaining earmarked 9 weeks, which can be taken at any time withing the first year after birth but are tagged to each parent, as are the initial 2 post-birth weeks. If one parent does not use all of their 11 weeks, those weeks lapse.

We have full detail on the new rules in this article.

Kids return to school after summer holidays

The school summer holidays, which often coincide with the dates on which parents place their annual leave, are about to come to an end.

Most municipal childcare institutions (like vuggestue and børnehave) reopen on August 1st, as do childcare facilities for school-age children like skolernes fritidsordning, SFO.

The first school day after the summer holidays is Monday August 8th in most of the country, but it’s worth checking with local authorities if you’re in doubt. All municipalities post the school term dates on their websites – see Odense Municipality’s website here for an example.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about vacation in Denmark 

Festival season isn’t over yet

The return of Roskilde has successfully been and gone and the 2022 Tour de France will probably pass into Danish folklore, but it’s not all done and dusted for those who enjoy the summer vibe of music festivals and major sporting events.

August music festivals include the chillout vibes of the electronic festival Stella Polaris and the more upbeat Strøm Festival in Copenhagen.

Those with Tour de France withdrawal can bask in the Postnord Denmark Tour, the country’s traditional pro cycling race which takes in some of the locations spotted on this year’s Grand Depart.

End of negative interest rates at banks

Several Danish banks and mortgage providers announced in July that they would be increasing their interest rates.

In some cases, this means the end of negative interest rates that have seen many Danish bank customers pay to have their savings deposited with a bank.

Broadcaster TV2 lists Nykredit, Arbejdernes Landsbank, Vestjysk Bank, Lån & Spar, Saxo Bank, Stadil Sparekasse, Frørup Andelskasse, Facit Bank, Basis Bank, Bank Norwegian, Santander Consumer Bank and Lunar as banks without negative interest rates. The list is accurate from August 1st, from when Vestjysk and Lån & Spar announced they will scrap negative interest rates.

Meanwhile, Jyske Bank, Danske Bank, Nordea, Sydbank, Sparekassen Danmark and Spar Nord will all have higher interest rates effective in August (which first took effect in July in some cases), although the rates are still negative.

Since 2021, many major banks in Denmark have charged negative interest on personal accounts with a balance of more than 100,000 kroner. The policy has been a source of consternation to foreigners in Denmark, driving them (and their savings) to smaller banks that have a higher cap. 

READ ALSO: Denmark’s banks raise interest rates but many still remain negative

15,000 European flights cancelled in August

For those who have not yet been on their summer vacation, travel plans could be affected by a large number of flight cancellations for services in the coming month.

Airlines in July cancelled a further 15,000 flights in Europe this August as they continue to struggle with staff shortages and strikes, according to data.

The data, from flight airline analysis firm Citrium, show that airlines have cancelled 25,378 flights from their August schedules, of which 15,788 are in Europe.

Airlines across Europe have been struggling with staff shortages, with passengers reporting long queues at airports.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August