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COVID-19 RULES

Covid-19: Appointments needed for all PCR tests in Denmark from Friday

It will no longer be possible from Friday November 12th to attend a Danish Covid-19 test centre for a PCR test without prior appointment.

A Covid-19 test centre entrance at Fælledparken, Copenhagen in July 2020. Appointments will be again required for all PCR tests in Denmark from November 12th 2021.
A Covid-19 test centre entrance at Fælledparken, Copenhagen in July 2020. Appointments will be again required for all PCR tests in Denmark from November 12th 2021. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Testing without an appointment has been possible in recent months with demand low, but tests must once again be arranged ahead of time, the Danish Critical Supply Agency (Styrelsen for Forsyningssikkerhed) confirmed in a statement.

Heightened demand for testing has been linked to the incoming coronapas rules. This is because a negative coronavirus test taken within the last 96 hours can form the basis for a valid coronapas.

READ ALSO: Denmark to again require coronapas from Friday

The critical supply agency announced the change of policy in a statement in response to increased queuing at test centres, particularly those with no requirement for an appointment.

“By reintroducing an appointment system at all PCR test centres, we can reduce queues and provide a smoother experience for the public,” the agency’s director Lisbet Zilmer-Johns said.

Additionally, PCR test centres will no longer additionally offer rapid tests, with this provision now moved back to reopened, privately-operated rapid test providers.

How do I book a Covid-19 PCR test?

Danish residents can book a PCR test by logging on to the coronaprover.dk website using their NemID secure digital ID.

Once logged in, you can choose the test centre at your nearest location and the time at which you want to book the test.

All residents over Denmark over the age of two years can book tests. The service is free and it is not necessary to have symptoms in order to take a test.

However, you can choose to inform the booking system if you are experiencing systems or have been in contact with a person with Covid-19, for the purposes of contact tracing.

What if I’m a visitor from abroad and don’t have a NemID?

PCR and rapid test (antigen test) centres are found in all five regions of Denmark, and tests are free of charge and do not require an appointment. Test centre addresses and opening hours are available on coronasmitte.dk

Foreigners without a Danish CPR (personal registration) number and NemID can be tested at all PCR test centres in Region Hovedstaden (Capital Region of Denmark), Region Sjælland (Region Zealand) and Region Nordjylland (North Denmark Region). In Region Syddanmark (Region of Southern Denmark) and Region Midtjylland (Central Denmark Region), foreigners can be tested at selected PCR test centres. 

You can access your PCR test results on covidresults.dk within 24 to 48 hours, though you need to register as a user at Covidresults.dk before you can be tested at a public test centre in Denmark.

Results can be provided by text message for rapid (antigen) tests. Or, you can wait at the test centre for 15 and 30 minutes for your results. 

Visitors can also get tested at the airport upon arrival. There are test centres at the airports in Copenhagen, Billund and Aalborg.

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COVID-19 RULES

Why Danish government is considering more scope for epidemic restrictions

The Danish government must currently receive the backing of parliament before implementing major interventions in response to a public health threat such as the Covid-19 pandemic. But an evaluation by two ministries suggests they favour more flexibility on the area.

Why Danish government is considering more scope for epidemic restrictions

Under current laws, parliament must vote to approve the categorisation of a disease as a ‘critical threat’ to society (samfundskritisk).

Only when a disease or an epidemic has been categorised in this way by parliament can all  of the interventions available to the government under the epidemic law be brought into play.

In other words, the government must face parliamentary checks and controls before implementing restrictions.

Those interventions range from the most invasive, such as lockdowns and assembly limits, to less invasive, but still significant, measures such as face mask mandates and health pass requirements like those seen with the coronapas (Covid-19 health pass) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Denmark decommissions country’s Covid-19 health pass

The Ministry of Health now wants to change the existing structure within the Epidemic Law, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported on Monday.

In an evaluation, the ministry proposes a change to the rules such that requirements for things like face masks and the coronapas can be introduced for diseases that are not only in the ‘critical threat’ category, but also for those rated an almen farlig sygdom, ‘dangerous to public health’.

This would put some of the restrictions in the lower category which is not subject to parliamentary control.

The evaluation was sent by the health and justice ministries to parliament in October but has escaped wider attention until now, Jyllands-Posten writes.

In its evaluation of the epidemic law, the Justice Ministry states that there is a “large jump” between the small pool of restrictions that can be introduced against ‘dangerous to public health diseases’ and the major societal interventions the government – with parliamentary backing – can use once a disease is classed as a ‘critical threat’.

“This jump does not quite seem to correspond with the actual demand for potential restrictions against diseases dangerous to public health, which can spread while not being critical to society,” the ministry writes.

The health ministry said in the evaluation the “consideration” should be made as to whether less invasive measures should continue to pass through parliament, as is the case under the current rules.

The national organisation for municipalities, KL, has told parliament that it backs the thinking of the ministries over the issue but that parliamentary control must be retained.

The Danish Council on Ethics (Det Etiske Råd) told Jyllands-Posten that it was “very sceptical” regarding the recommendation.

“The council therefore points out that a slippery slope could result if the restrictions, interventions and options that can be brought into use with diseases that present a critical threat to society, can also be used with dangerous diseases like normal influenza,” the council said.

The minority government’s allied political parties all stated scepticism towards the proposal, in comments reported by Jyllands-Posten.

In a written comment, the health ministry told the newspaper that Health Minister Magnus Heunicke would discuss committee stage responses with the other partied before deciding on “the need for initiatives”.

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