Denmark requires travellers from Middle East hubs to take Covid-19 test

All travellers arriving in Denmark from Doha and Dubai airports are to be required to take a Covid-19 test, the Danish Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday.

Passengers on flights from Doha and Dubai are now required to take a Covid-19 test on arrival in Denmark.
Passengers on flights from Doha and Dubai are now required to take a Covid-19 test on arrival in Denmark. Photo: Regis Duvignau/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Isolation rules are also to be tightened, the ministry said in a statement.

The restrictions on arrivals from the two airports, in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates respectively, are aimed at limited and delaying the spread of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant in Denmark, according to the ministry.

Authorities in Denmark, the State Serum Institute and the Danish Health Authority, recommended the measure, as did the government’s independent Epidemic Commission.

The test requirement will apply to all arrivals on flights from Doha and Dubai. Passengers who refuse to take a test before leaving the airport in Denmark can be fined.

Doha and Dubai airports are both hubs for regional travel and passengers from South Africa transfer at the airports on routes to Europe. South Africa first identified the Omicron variant and alerted the international community to it last week.

Several countries have subsequently placed travel bans on South Africa and neighbouring countries, including Denmark. The initial list of restrictions on South Africa and six other countries — Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini – was expanded this week to include Angola, Malawi and Zambia.

Travel to Denmark from those countries is only permissible if one of a narrow range of “worthy purpose” criteria is fulfilled. Requirements to test and isolate for 10 days would also then apply to the traveller.

A negative PCR test on day six after arrival now allows the person to leave isolation under Danish rules. This is a tightened of previous isolation rules which allowed quarantine to be broken after a negative test on day four.

An immunity pass, given to visitors who have previously had Covid-19 and are therefore conferred immunity to the virus, will now be valid for 180 days instead of the previous 12 months, in another rule change announced by the ministry on Wednesday.

The minimum age at which a Covid-19 health pass can be demanded of travellers to Denmark is now 15 years. It was previously 16 years.

READ ALSO: How foreign citizens can get a booster Covid-19 jab in Denmark

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Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge to offer reduced tolls for commuters

A new discount system launched by the operators of Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge is designed to offer savings to people who live on one side of the bridge and work on the other.

Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge to offer reduced tolls for commuters

The Great Belt Bridge, a 7-kilometre, fixed-link bridge which connects the islands of Funen and Zealand, can cost up to 250 kroner for a single crossing in a normal passenger car.

Operator Sund & Bælt on Friday announced a new discount for commuters who cross the bridge 15 times or more in a month.

The deal could be particularly beneficial for people who live in Jutland or on Funen but travel regularly to Copenhagen for work.

The new discount system launches on May 1st, Sund & Bælt said in a press statement.

Specifically, private motorists who are registered to pay the toll fee via either the Bizz card or number plate recognition will automatically receive a discount if they cross the bridge more than 14 times within a calendar month.

This is because while the first 14 journeys across the bridge will cost the regular price, all subsequent journeys will cost 0 kroner until the 50th journey, when the price returns to normal. The number resets at the beginning of each month.

Provided payment is set up through one of the two methods mentioned above, bridge users do not need to register or pay anything in advance to benefit from the discount.

Customers who use the existing Storebælt Pendleraftale discount by planning their journeys to fit with the number of crossings provided by that deal could see a “small price increase” under the new system, Sund & Bælt said in the statement. Commuters unable to plan their journeys or who drive during weekends and evenings are likely to find the price drops slightly, it added.

Further information on the discount can be find on the Sund & Bælt website.

Earlier this week, the Øresund Bridge between Copenhagen and Malmø also announced a change to its pricing structure.