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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

Denmark has received its first supply of Paxlovid, an antiviral treatment for Covid-19.

Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

A first stock of Paxlovid, a tablet which can be described by doctors to combat Covid-19 symptoms, has been delivered to Denmark, health authorities confirmed in a statement.

“The first delivery has arrived today and the rest will be delivered continuously during the coming period,” the Danish Health Authority said.

Denmark has purchased 40,000 treatment courses of the medicine.

Doctors decide when to prescribe the medicine, which is suitable for adults infected with Covid-19 who are at risk of serious illness with Covid-19. It is taken over a course of five days when symptoms are still mild.

“Treatment with Paxlovid is for the patients who are at greatest risk of serious illness with Covid-19 and the treatment will be an important part of the future management of Covid-19,” the Health Authority said in the statement.

The arrival of a medicine for Covid-19 does not signal the end of vaccination which remains “the most effective measure to prevent serious illness and death,” it said.

Denmark has purchased the Paxlovid supply through a deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) has 2.2 million Covid-19 vaccines which have been in storage for so long that they are no longer usable, news wire Ritzau earlier reported.

The vaccines were purchased when Denmark was acquiring as many as possible during the pandemic but because they are not effective against newer variants of the coronavirus, they can no longer be used.

Another 3.6 million doses in storage at SSI can only be used for the initial two doses for as-yet unvaccinated people – who are now limited in number given Denmark’s high vaccine uptake. This means they are unusable in the current booster programme.

The cost of the 5.8 million vaccines is estimated at between 116 and 783 million kroner.