What are Denmark’s new rules for isolation after testing positive for Covid-19?

Denmark’s health authority on Monday announced an update to its Covid-19 self-isolation rules, meaning isolation periods could be shorter for many.

Denmark changed its rules for Covid-19 self-isolation on January 24th 2022.
Denmark changed its rules for Covid-19 self-isolation on January 24th 2022. Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

Under a change to the current isolation rules announced by the Danish Health Authority on Monday, self-isolation can now be ended once the infected person no longer has symptoms provided at least four days have passed since they tested positive for Covid-19.

People who test positive but do not have symptoms must isolate for four days after returning a positive PCR test for Covid-19.

The outgoing rules required a symptom-free period of 48 hours before leaving isolation, or seven days since a positive test for people with no symptoms.

Meanwhile, close contacts (people who live with or have spent a night under the same roof as someone who has tested positive for Covid-19) are no longer required to self-isolate, but must take a rapid antigen test or PCR test three days after the close contact tested positive.

The month from December 19th last year until Wednesday January 19th saw 617,913 cases of Covid-19 registered in Denmark. That corresponds to over 10 percent of the population.

In addition to the positive tests, many more people have been required to isolate due to being close contacts to the confirmed cases.

“There must be a balance between the situation we are in and the recommendations we have. The recent marked increase in the number of infections has had serious consequences for society. Many have had to self-isolate and many places of work have struggled to function,” Danish Health Authority deputy director Helene Probst said in a statement.

“At the same time, we believe it is medically responsible to ease our recommendations because we have such high immunity in the population and because we have protected [with vaccination, ed.] those who are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill,” Probst said.

READ ALSO: Denmark expected to change Covid-19 isolation rules

If you have tested positive on a rapid antigen test at a quick test centre, or using a home test, you must book a PCR test as soon as possible in order to confirm the positive result. This also applies if you experience symptoms of Covid-19.

PCR tests are available at municipal test centres and must be booked on the platform.

Following a positive result from a rapid test centre, you will be sent a referral via the E-boks secure mail platform, which enables you to book a PCR test as soon as possible. This referral can take a few hours to appear after you receive the positive rapid antigen test result.

You must isolate immediately following a positive PCR, quick test or home test according to new guidelines issued by the Danish Health Authority on January 24th.

People with “significant” symptoms should isolate before they have had their PCR test and received the result. For those with no symptoms or very mild symptoms, it is not necessary to isolate while waiting for the result of the PCR test.

This only applies of the PCR test is the initial test – if you already have a positive rapid test, you must isolate immediately.

People who work or come into contact with persons in high risk groups are asked to wear a type II face mask for three days after leaving isolation, the new guidelines state.

Guidelines from the Danish Patient Saftety Authority state that, during self-isolation, you should:

  • Stay at home.
  • Do not meet with others, go to work, go shopping or to other places. Ask others to deliver shopping (or use a commercial service), leaving it outside your door.
  • Don’t go out to exercise or walk your dog – get others to do the latter for you if possible.
  • Isolate from persons you live with: Avoid close contact with others in your home, avoid spending time in the same rooms and sleep in a separate room. If possible, use a separate bathroom. Note that you are not expected to do this if you have small children.
  • Pay extra attention to cleaning if you live with others, for example by sanitising handles, taps and handrails every time you touch them.

More detail on the recommendations is available on the website.

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”