Denmark changes Covid-19 isolation rules for close contacts

Self-isolation due to close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case is now only required if the contact is with someone from the same household, under updated Danish guidelines.

A file photo of a Danish Covid-19 test centre.
A file photo of a Danish Covid-19 test centre. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

People who are close contacts and live in the same household as someone who tests positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate and test for the virus on the fourth and sixth days after the suspected exposure.

The rule applies for all variants of the virus.

Close contacts outside of the home are required to test on the fourth and sixth days but not to isolate, the Danish Health Authority said as it updated guidelines on Monday.

“High risk of transmission occurs in the home. We are intervening in the current situation with both isolation and tests on the fourth and sixth days in order to limit transmissions as much as possible,” the authority’s deputy director Helene Probst said in a statement.

“Other contacts do not need to go into isolation but should still get tested. We need to keep finding a balance between preventing as much (transmission) as possible while also avoiding to many isolations so society’s important and critical functions can continue,” Probst added.

Close contacts with a person in their home can leave isolation if they test negative for Covid-19 on the fourth day.

The fourth day test should be a PCR test, but a rapid antigen test is acceptable for the sixth day test in order to limit demand for PCR tests.

Danish and international studies suggest that the majority of infections take place at homes and within four days of exposure.

Self isolation rules for exposure at home do not apply to persons who have received a booster jab, who must test on the fourth and sixth days but do not have to isolate.

People who have tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 12 weeks are exempted from both isolation and testing requirements.

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