Reader Question: Do you need a negative PCR test to board a flight from UK to Denmark?

Reader Question: Do you need a negative PCR test to board a flight from UK to Denmark?
Easyjet's Covid-19 travel advice page is confusing. Photo: Eric Gaillard/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
A reader travelling from the UK to Denmark last week was asked for a negative PCR test by their airline even though, according to Denmark's police hotline, they didn't need one. So might you need to show a negative PCR test to board a flight from the UK?

Nope. No matter what country you are resident in, or what your vaccination or immunity status is, you should not need to show a negative PCR test to board any flight from the UK to Denmark, regardless of the airline.  

Denmark on August 14th scrapped the “red” category, which required residents of countries in the category to show a negative PCR test before boarding a plane to Denmark, judging that as the Delta variant is now dominant in Denmark and has outcompeted all other virus variants of concern, there was no need for this extra layer of control. 

What are the airlines saying on their websites? 

It’s quite confusing. Easyjet’s travel information page does not seem completely up to date,  and is not very clear on what is required. 

Norwegian’s travel advice page says that passengers travelling to Denmark need a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or an antigen test less than 48 hours old, but does not point out that the latter can be obtained on arrival in Denmark.

SAS has a travel-ready centre, which will tell those taking its flights what tests, vaccination certificates etc they require for each destination if they load up their booking number and travel documents. 

So might my airline ask for a negative PCR test by mistake? 

According to Alexandra Lindgren Kaoukji, head of media relations at the airline SAS, last week there were reports of ground staff, particularly at airports outside London, not being updated with the changed Danish regulations, particularly at the start of the week. 

“I know in the beginning when it all changed, it was all a bit confusing and that’s when I’ve heard there have been some challenges updating our staff,” she said, adding that in smaller airports the airline has “outsourced staff”, making these challenges even more difficult. 

By this point, however, she says she thinks it is unlikely that anyone travelling from the UK to Denmark will be asked for a negative PCR test. 

“It would surprise me if this problem was still lingering. If you are on a straightforward journey to Copenhagen, there shouldn’t be any mistakes, especially now a few days into the new system.” 

Is there anything else apart from a passport or a ticket I might need before boarding the plane? 

There shouldn’t be.  

If you are not a Danish resident, and have not been vaccinated in an EU or OECD country, and are resident in a country classified as “orange” (which includes the UK), you will need a “worthy purpose” to enter Denmark, but this is something that is determined at the Danish border and not before boarding your flight. 

Those not vaccinated in an OECD country will also need to show a negative before cross border control in Denmark, even if they have recovered from a coronavirus infection or been vaccinated outside the OECD or EU. But you can get a rapid antigen test for free at Denmark’s airports, so you do not need to have a test before boarding your flight. 

Danish citizens and foreigners with permanent residence in or a residence permit in Denmark do not need to show a test before entry. 

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