United States holds firm on travel restrictions – Danes without US citizenship or a close family tie are still barred
In mid-July, President Joseph Biden offered a glimmer of hope for Danes hoping to visit the US by announcing his intention to review travel restrictions against the EU. Those hopes were dashed late Monday evening by a decision to keep current travel restrictions in place in light of the accelerating Delta variant.
US restrictions on travel from the EU began in March 2020. US citizens, lawful permanent residents, non-citizen nationals of the US and a few close family connections are exempt from the ban, as are certain people serving diplomatic or anti-pandemic roles at the request of the US government.
The decision is a blow to airlines that have lobbied for the change for months, and for Europeans eager to visit family and friends in the United States. As the New York Times pointed out, the ban can be circumvented by travellers willing to spend 14 days in a country not restricted by the US before attempting to enter the country.
Another Danish Covid death, and changing goalposts?
A Covid patient in Denmark died on Monday, according to the Statens Serum Institut, the Danish infectious disease agency. This follows more than a week without Covid fatalities, highlighting the progress Denmark has made at limiting severe disease. As of Monday, there were 60 Covid patients receiving inpatient care in Danish hospitals, 10 of whom are in intensive care and six on respirators.
The SSI has shifted its focus from preventing a healthcare system overload to controlling infection numbers, and some right-wing Danish politicians contend that changing the metrics for success could undermine reopening plans for the autumn, Danish public television station DR reports.
However, the Danish Ministry of Health insists the original reopening programme will continue as scheduled, with most everything – including nightlife and coronapas-less indoor dining – phased back in on September 1st. ThecCoronapas vaccine and testing passport system is set to twilight on October 1st, barring any changes.
Delta infections in partially-vaccinated a concern for Danish health authorities
More than 20 percent of all new Delta infections in Denmark have occurred in people with their first, but not their second, dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
“With this Delta variant, you can see that you are significantly less protected after one sting than when you are fully vaccinated,” the SSI’s Palle Valentiner-Branth told Danish news agency Ritzau.
But that doesn’t mean the first dose is insignificant. “Hospitalizations and serious illness are rare in those who have had one or two stings, so that is good news,” Valentiner Branth added.
Breakthrough infections – infections in fully vaccinated people – remain very rare, with about 0.1 percent of people with both jabs still contracting the coronavirus.