Denmark changes United States to orange in updated Covid-19 travel guidelines

The United States will on Saturday change status to orange in Denmark’s Covid-19 travel guidelines, tightening restrictions on travel for non-vaccinated people.

Denmark changes United States to orange in updated Covid-19 travel guidelines
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The United States moves to orange along with Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia in updated travel guidelines announced by the Danish foreign ministry on Friday. The US and Israel were previously classed as “hatched orange”, while the others were yellow.

Fully vaccinated travellers do not face any change in rules as a result of the orange status. As such, fully vaccinated people from the United States and other orange countries may enter Denmark without any requirement to take a Covid-19 test before or after arrival or to isolate.

Unvaccinated people from orange countries who have conferred immunity due to previous infection with Covid-19 are likewise not required to test or isolate but, unlike vaccinated people, must provide a worthy purpose for travelling to Denmark (this does not include tourism). Worthy purpose requirements do not apply to Danish nationals or people resident in Denmark. Detailed information about worthy purposes can be found here.

People who are travelling from orange countries based on a negative test (and are therefore neither vaccinated nor have been previously infected with Covid-19) are required to isolate after entering Denmark. They must also provide a worthy purpose for travel (see above). As when arriving from yellow countries, non-vaccinated people in this category must take a Covid-19 test before and after travel to Denmark.

Detailed information on the restrictions can be found here.

Denmark’s decision comes after the European Council removed the US and the five other countries from its travel safe list on Monday, meaning visitors, particularly those not vaccinated against Covid-19, can face tighter restrictions on travel to Europe.

The EU’s decision is non-binding and individual member states can decide how to act, but Denmark’s decision on Friday follows the EU’s stance.

The move by the EU follows a steep rise in Covid rates in both the US and Israel sparked by the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

The EU Council bases its decision on “the epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources.”

It also takes into account reciprocity, in other words how countries treat travellers from EU countries.

In recent weeks there has been heightened pressure to remove the US from the list, not only due to rising Covid rates but also because the US still bars non-essential travel from European countries.

The Danish foreign ministry advises against non-essential travel to orange countries. The recommendation does not immediately apply to people who are fully vaccinated or have immunity conferred by previous infection.

The new guidelines come into effect at 4pm on Saturday.

READ ALSO: Travel update: Denmark changes Sweden to yellow in latest guidelines

Member comments

  1. Is there any clarification as to whether UK travellers who were vaccinated with one of the Astrazenca India vaccines need to test / quarantine? I don’t see anything online confirming this one way or another but makes me anxious to book travel.

    1. Vaccinated U.K. travellers (even with AZ) don’t need to test prior to travelling to Denmark or to quarantine on arrival. Returning to the U.K. is a far more convoluted process though.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Denmark’s infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

Travellers from China should not need a negative Covid-19 test when arriving in Denmark, the national infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute recommended on Saturday, in an assessment sent to the Ministry of Health.

Denmark's infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

In the assessment by the State Serum Institute (SSI), it was noted that there aren’t expected to be a large number of arrivals coming directly from China and that any tests would have a marginal affect on Danish epidemic control.

However SSI wrote that it was still important to keep an eye on new variants of Covid-19 and suggested that a sample of voluntary-based PCR tests could be introduced for travellers from China.

The assessment was requested by Denmark’s health minister Sophie Løhde, following a recommendation on Wednesday by European Union experts to tighten travel rules.

Infection rates in China are high after it abolished its ‘zero Covid’ policy in late 2022, although no precise numbers are available.

Several European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and the UK, had already introduced testing requirements, while Sweden on Thursday announced a similar step, as did Germany, with an added announcement on Saturday to discourage non-essential travel from Germany to China.

The United States, Canada, India, South Korea and Taiwan have also put testing rules in place.

Health minister Sophie Løhde also asked SSI to assess testing waste water from aircraft landed from China. SSI responded that there is limited experience in this.

SSI currently analyses samples from shared toilet tanks at four airports twice a week – Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg and Billund. The method would have to be changed in order to detect new Covid-19 variants, which would take up to four weeks to implement, according to the assessment.

Løhde has informed the parliamentary parties about the assessment and has asked the Epidemic Commission for an advisory assessment, she said in a press release. Once this is done, the recommendations will be discussed.