In addition to reducing the number of available tests, the country’s strategy will be “revised in close dialogue with health authorities and external partners,” the ministry said in a statement.
Regional health authorities are responsible for operating PCR test centres in Denmark while rapid antigen tests are offered at privately-run centres contracted to the government.
It is the private test providers whose capacity will be scaled back from 500,000 daily tests to 200,000 daily tests over the next two weeks, with more emphasis to be placed on home testing.
The PCR testing capacity is currently 200,000 tests per day, according to the ministry statement, though official data on Friday showed 268,092 PCR tests had been administered during the last day. PCR tests are not currently available within 24 hours in all locations in Denmark.
Denmark set its latest record for daily Covid-19 infections on Friday, registering over 46,000 new confirmed cases. Test results from the private rapid test centres are not included in this statistic. People who return a positive result from a quick test are advised to then book a PCR test to confirm they have Covid-19.
Official data showed 252,522 rapid tests to have been administered in Denmark during the last day on Thursday and 257,386 on Friday.
“Vaccines and easy access to testing have been our Danish super-weapon all the way through the epidemic. We are one of the countries in the world which has tested the most and has come furthest with the third (booster) vaccine dose,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said in the statement.
“This is positively reflected in the number of hospitalisations (with Covid-19) and enables us to now wind down the large test capacity and use more home testing, which is a good alternative,” Heunicke said.
Home testing, not commonplace in Denmark in 2021, is now in use at schools, childcare institutions, in the elderly care sector and in the health and social care sector. Home tests are set to be further distributed by regions and municipalities.