Covid-19: Denmark eases culture restrictions but keeps nightlife curbs

Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke and culture minister Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen present changes to the country's Covid-19 restrictions. The new rules take effect on January 16th.
Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke and culture minister Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen present changes to the country's Covid-19 restrictions. The new rules take effect on January 16th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark’s government has confirmed the re-opening of cultural institutions, which have been closed due to Covid-19 since December 19th.  

A maximum of 500 people will be allowed into indoor venues including theatres, cinemas, museums, sports halls and conference centres. Amusement parks are also allowed to reopen.

A capacity requirement at places of worship is also revoked.

The new rules come into effect on January 16th.

Some of the restrictions introduced in December remain in place: Bars and restaurants still have to close at 11pm and the sale of alcohol remains be banned from 10pm to 5am.

The extended restrictions are now scheduled to expire on January 31st.

“It’s too early to let go of the tiller,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said as the changes were presented at a government briefing on Wednesday evening.

The rule changes were confirmed following a meeting of the parliamentary Epidemic Committee, which must agree to any proposed changes to Covid restrictions. The committee includes representatives from each of the parties in parliament.

Expected changes to the validity period of the coronapas, Denmark’s Covid-19 health pass, were also rubber-stamped by the committee on Wednesday.

Under current rules, a coronapas is valid for seven months after a person is fully vaccinated, meaning they have received their second or final dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The new rules reduce that validity period to five months. The coronapas becomes valid again or remains valid if the holder has received a booster vaccination.

According to the rule changes tabled by the government to the Epidemic Committee earlier this week, the period for which the coronapas becomes invalid following a positive PCR test for Covid-19 is reduced from 14 days to 11 days under the new rules. It remains valid until five months after the positive PCR test (unless the holder subsequently receives a second or booster vaccine dose).

The coronapas change also comes into effect on Sunday January 16th. Requirements to show the health pass on intercity trains, as well as face mask rules on public transport, have been extended until January 31st, the Transport Ministry said in a statement.

Heunicke suggested during the briefing that it is likely some restrictions on nightlife will remain beyond the end of this month.

The director of the Danish Health Authority, Søren Brostrøm, meanwhile stated that the Omicron variant, now dominant in Denmark, causes milder disease than the earlier Delta variant.

“If you are ill with Omicron and go to hospital, there’s a good chance you’ll be less sick than with Delta,” Brostrøm said.

READ ALSO: Denmark confirms change to coronapas validity period


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