What happens if a tourist gets Covid-19 while on holiday in Denmark?

What happens if a tourist gets Covid-19 while on holiday in Denmark?
Even if you test positive, you can still stay in your accommodation with those you are travelling with. Photo: Robin Skjoldborg/Visit Denmark
What should tourists do if they develop Covid symptoms while on holiday in Denmark? Are the rules any different for fully vaccinated visitors? When can people return home?

Tourists have been trickling back to Denmark this year, although mainly from neighbouring countries like Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden, with the those from the US — in normal year’s the country’s biggest tourism market, still relatively rare. 

Despite the precautions, and the testing requirements to enter Denmark from most countries outside the European Union, contracting Covid 19 is still a risk for holidaymakers – even those who have been vaccinated.

Cases have been hovering between 500 and 1,000 cases per day throughout most of July and August, up from fewer than 200 in June, although they appear to have levelled off somewhat in recent days.

Tourists should note however that the highest rates are in the capital, Copenhagen, where they are most likely to visit. So, what should holidaymakers do if they develop symptoms while on holiday in Denmark?

Do tourists in Denmark have to self isolate if they have Covid-19 symptoms?

Yes, they do.

Anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 (which include a cough, fever, runny nose, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, loss of taste or smell) should isolate at home – or in a hotel room or Airbnb, or wherever they are staying. 

The Danish Health Authority has published a pamphlet in English explaining what to do if you experience symptoms. 

  • You should avoid meeting anyone you are not travelling with 
  • You should keep your distance even from those you are travelling with 
  • You should maintain hygiene recommendations, washing your hands regularly, coughing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces. 

How do I get tested? 

You should book an appointment to get tested at the following numbers. 

  • Copenhagen: +4538660000
  • Rest of Zealand: +45 70 20 42 33
  • South Denmark: +45 99 44 07 17 
  • Central Jutland: +4578424242  
  • North Jutland: +4597648463

You can also simply drop into one of the test centres on this map which offer PCR tests to foreigners with no prior booking. 

You will also need to set up an account at before getting your test to receive your test results.

Remember to wear a mask and keep your distance from others on your way to the test centre and if possible avoid public transport. 

While you wait for your test result, you should stay in self-isolation, but those you are travelling with can still go out, shop and carry on their holiday more or less as normal. 

How much does a test cost?

Denmark currently offers both PCR and antigen tests for free, even for tourists from outside the European Union. 

What happens if the test comes back positive?

If you test positive, you must self-isolate until you have been free from symptoms for 48 hours. If you had a rapid antigen test which came back positive, you should get a follow-up PCR test. Here is the leaflet on testing positive from the Danish Health Authority. 

After 10 days, you may also stop self-isolating if you feel much better and have residual symptoms such as loss of sense of taste and/or smell, a slight cough, headache, or fatigue. 

You can only stop self-isolating if you have had a normal temperature for 48 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications such as paracetamol. 

If you have never had any symptoms but have tested positive, you can stop isolating seven days after your positive test. 

If you are alone and need help shopping or doing other tasks, you can ring the Danish Red Cross’s helpline on +453529 9660 or email them on [email protected]

Contact tracing

You will probably be contacted by Denmark’s contact tracers, who will then help you list all of the people you have been in close contact with since arriving in Denmark. If they do not contact you automatically, you should ring the team on +4532320511.

If you have tested positive and have symptoms, your close contacts are everyone you have been in close contact with in the period from 48 hours before your symptoms started and until 48 hours after you were free from symptoms.

If you have tested positive and did not have any symptoms, your close contacts are everyone you have been in close contact with in the period from 48 hours before you had your test done and for the next 7 days.

Close contacts should self-isolate until they have received a negative test result. 

What happens if I start feeling ill? 

If symptoms get worse and you have trouble breathing, phone the emergency services on 112. 

You can also contact a doctor on one of the emergency medical helplines run by Denmark’s regional health authorities. 

Copenhagen region: +451813 

Zealand region: +45 70 15 07 00

Mid-Jutland:  +45 70 11 31 31

South Denmark: +45 70 11 07 07

North Jutland: +45 70 150 300

Can I go home?

Anyone displaying Covid-19 symptoms is urged not to travel, which means that if you develop symptoms while on holiday and test positive you will have to prolong your stay, at your own expense.


Paying for an unforeseen and heavily restricted additional stay in Denmark could prove very expensive. It’s advisable, therefore, that you take out comprehensive travel insurance to be covered for all eventualities, not just Covid-19.

“It’s crucial to check the details to make sure that you have enough cover if you do need to isolate,” Rory Boland, Travel Editor at consumer group Which?, told the BBC.

This could potentially mean you get reimbursed for any extra days of accommodation you may have to pay for. “Some policies have a ‘day benefit’ rate, but check that that will be enough to cover the cost of the hotel and everything else you might need if you do need to quarantine,” Boland said.

If you are an EU citizen, bring your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) – or your GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) if you are British. This, at least, will cover the cost of urgent medical healthcare while you are in Denmark.

Even with an ECIC or a GHIC, you should still take out appropriate travel insurance, as neither covers all health-related costs, for example medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment.

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