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MAP: Denmark drops “red” status for all countries including UK regions

Denmark has dropped the most restrictive "red" travel classification for all countries including England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, meaning vaccinated travellers from these countries will no longer need to self-isolate on arrival.

MAP: Denmark drops
Travellers at London's Heathrow Airport last week. Photo: Hannah Mckay/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

“The national COVID-19 task force on travel restrictions has decided to deactivate the red safety valve for all current red countries and regions,” Denmark’s foreign ministry said in a press release

“The task force’s decision is due to the fact that the delta variant has become dominant both in Denmark and globally and thus has now outcompeted the other virus variants (beta and gamma), which are no longer considered by the health authorities to be particularly worrying.” 

The change will see 21 countries move from “red” to “orange”, including Argentina, Botswana, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Eswatini, Fiji, Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Libya, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Panama, Namibia, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 
This means Denmark’s foreign ministry no longer advises Danish residents against travelling to these areas. 
It also means that travellers from these areas, if vaccinated, will no longer need to go into self-isolation on arrival in Denmark, have a “worthy purpose” to travel to Denmark if they are resident in an OECD country, show a negative PCR test at the border, or to get a PCR test on arrival. 
Those who are not vaccinated still need to meet one of Denmark’s “worthy purposes” to enter (which do not include tourism), will need to show a negative test to enter at the border (rapid tests are available for free in Denmark’s airports between the arrival lounge and passport control), will still need to get a PCR test on arrival, and will still need to self-isolate for ten days (or until they test negative after four days). 
Denmark on Friday also announced that Italy was being shifted from the least restrictive “green” category to “yellow”, although the regions of Piedmont, The Aosta Valley, Liguria, Lombardy, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia, Bolzano, Trento or Friuli-Venezia Giulia remain “green”. 
The regions of Bern, Freiburg, Solothurn, Aargau, St. Gallen, Thurgau and Zug in Switzerland are changing from green to yellow. 
Here is an interactive map of how countries and regions will be classified in Europe from Saturday. 

And here is how countries across the world will be classified, with all non-EU countries but a handful of Eastern European countries classed "orange". 

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TRAVEL

Could Oslo-Copenhagen overnight train be set for return?

A direct overnight rail service between the Norwegian and Danish capitals has not operated since 2001, but authorities in Oslo are considering its return.

Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.

An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail.

Jernbanedirektoratet is expected to assess a timeline for introducing the service along with costs, market and potential conflicts with other commercial services covering the route.

“I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting, including taking a train to Malmö, Copenhagen and onwards to Europe,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The minister said he envisaged either a state-funded project or a competition awarding a contract for the route’s operation to the best bidder.

A future Oslo-Copenhagen night train rests on the forthcoming Jernbanedirektoratet report and its chances of becoming a reality are therefore unclear. But the Norwegian rail authority earlier this year published a separate report on ways in which passenger train service options from Norway to Denmark via Sweden can be improved.

“We see an increasing interest in travelling out of Norway by train,” Jernbanedirektoratet project manager  Hanne Juul said in a statement when the report was published in January.

“A customer study confirmed this impression and we therefore wish to make it simpler to take the train to destinations abroad,” Juul added.

Participants in the study said that lower prices, fewer connections and better information were among the factors that would encourage them to choose the train for a journey abroad.

Norway’s rail authority also concluded that better international cooperation would optimise cross-border rail journeys, for example by making journey and departure times fit together more efficiently.

The Femahrn connection between Denmark and Germany, currently under construction, was cited as a factor which could also boost the potential for an overland rail connection from Norway to mainland Europe.

Night trains connected Oslo to Europe via Copenhagen with several departures daily as recently as the late 1990s, but the last such night train between the two cities ran in 2001 amid dwindling demand.

That trend has begun to reverse in recent years due in part to an increasing desire among travellers to select a greener option for their journey than flying.

Earlier this summer, a new overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin began operating. That service can be boarded by Danish passengers at Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new night train from Copenhagen to Germany

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