KEY POINTS: The new Covid-19 rules which take effect in Denmark on Monday

New Covid-19 rules and guidelines, primarily relating to use of face masks and the coronapas health pass, will take effect in Denmark on Monday, November 29th.

Face masks return to Danish daily life from November 29th.
Face masks return to Danish daily life from November 29th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

After Health Minister Magnus Heunicke announced at a ministry press briefing on Wednesday that the government will seek to reimplement face mask rules on public transport and in stores, approval from parliament’s Epidemic Committee on Thursday paved the way for their return on Monday.

Rules relating to the coronapas Covid-19 health pass will also be broadened and the interval for which a negative Covid-19 test gives a valid pass reduced.

The government was acting on recommendations given by the advisory independent Epidemic Commission, Heunicke earlier said. The parliamentary committee has now approved the measures, meaning they can come into effect from November 29th.

The decision was made in light of escalating infection and hospitalisation numbers with Covid-19 in Denmark throughout November.

READ ALSO: Face masks to return in Denmark from Monday

Return of face masks

Face masks will be required on public transport, including taxis and ride sharing services. They will also have to be used in supermarkets and in other retail settings like shopping malls and stores.

Masks will also be required in health and social care settings such as hospitals, clinics and community care.

Children under 12 years old are generally exempted from wearing face masks.

Shorter coronapas validity period for negative Covid tests

The period for which a negative Covid-19 test gives a valid coronapas will be reduced to 72 hours for a negative PCR test and 48 hours for a negative rapid antigen test.

Up to now, unvaccinated people can hold a valid coronapas for 96 hours through a negative PCR test, or 72 hours with a rapid antigen test.

Coronapas required in more places and at smaller events

Events at which participants or spectators must show a valid coronapas will have a maximum attendance of 100 indoors and 1,000 outdoors. Those limits are 200 and 2,000 respectively under the current rules.

The health pass will also be extended to be required at public sector workplaces and vocational and youth colleges (voksen- og ungdomsuddannelser) and language centres as well as at hairdressers, tattooists, solariums, and similar services. Visitors to elderly care homes and social care facilities will also be required to present a coronapas.

It is currently required at bars, cafes, restaurants and large events.

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Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

Denmark has received its first supply of Paxlovid, an antiviral treatment for Covid-19.

Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

A first stock of Paxlovid, a tablet which can be described by doctors to combat Covid-19 symptoms, has been delivered to Denmark, health authorities confirmed in a statement.

“The first delivery has arrived today and the rest will be delivered continuously during the coming period,” the Danish Health Authority said.

Denmark has purchased 40,000 treatment courses of the medicine.

Doctors decide when to prescribe the medicine, which is suitable for adults infected with Covid-19 who are at risk of serious illness with Covid-19. It is taken over a course of five days when symptoms are still mild.

“Treatment with Paxlovid is for the patients who are at greatest risk of serious illness with Covid-19 and the treatment will be an important part of the future management of Covid-19,” the Health Authority said in the statement.

The arrival of a medicine for Covid-19 does not signal the end of vaccination which remains “the most effective measure to prevent serious illness and death,” it said.

Denmark has purchased the Paxlovid supply through a deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) has 2.2 million Covid-19 vaccines which have been in storage for so long that they are no longer usable, news wire Ritzau earlier reported.

The vaccines were purchased when Denmark was acquiring as many as possible during the pandemic but because they are not effective against newer variants of the coronavirus, they can no longer be used.

Another 3.6 million doses in storage at SSI can only be used for the initial two doses for as-yet unvaccinated people – who are now limited in number given Denmark’s high vaccine uptake. This means they are unusable in the current booster programme.

The cost of the 5.8 million vaccines is estimated at between 116 and 783 million kroner.