Government advisors say Denmark can end Covid-19 restrictions on February 1st

The Epidemic Commission, which advises the government on management of the Covid-19 pandemic, has issued new recommendations in relation to whether restrictions should continue. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday.

Denmark could scrap rules requiring face masks in stores and on public transport, along with other Covid-19 restrictions, at the end of January.
Denmark could scrap rules requiring face masks in stores and on public transport, along with other Covid-19 restrictions, at the end of January. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The Commission said it recommends the end of current Covid-19 restrictions on January 31st, but that entry test and isolation rules for travel to Denmark are extended. Face mask use at hospitals and in elderly care should continue, it also said.

Travel rules should be based on the model used until rules were tightened in late December, the Commission said.

Should the recommendations of the Commission be followed, Covid-19 will also cease being categorised as a critical threat to society.

The classification, currently scheduled to expire on January 5th, is important because it impacts the ability of the government to introduce restrictions aimed at curbing spread of the virus.

Frederiksen is expected to make an announcement at a briefing on Wednesday.


Current Covid-19 restrictions include requirements to wear a face mask on public transport, in stores and a list of other public settings; and the use of the Covid-19 health pass, the coronapas, at restaurants, cafes, gyms and long-distance rail and bus services amongst other settings.

In its recommendations issued late on Tuesday, the Commission stated that Denmark is now in a “new epidemic situation where high and increasing transmissions do not transfer to admissions to hospitals to the same extent as before”.

While daily infection totals have continued to grow in recent weeks, the number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 has not increased by a corresponding amount and the number of patients admitted to ICUs has begun to decline.

An additional 46,950 new cases of the virus were registered on Tuesday with hospital patients with Covid-19 up to 918. This includes 222 people admitted to psychiatric wards who have Covid-19 but it is not the cause of their admission.

44 patients at Danish hospitals are under intensive care treatment for Covid-19, with 28 of them receiving ventilator treatment.

“The decline in admissions is probably due to the effect of booster vaccination as well as the lesser ability of Omicron to elicit serious illness,” the Commission stated in its recommendations.

Although it no longer believes Covid-19 should be classed a critical threat to society, some measures to limit transmission are still beneficial, it said.

As such, large indoor events could be asked to use the coronapas and social distancing measures, and workplaces could take precautions to protect staff once home working ends, it said.

In general, the advisory board advocated a switch in focus from requirements and rules to recommendations.

A final decision on changes to restrictions is taken by the government, which must get approval from a majority in parliament before implementing changes.

The Epidemic Commission gives both medical and economic advice to the government regarding its ongoing management of the pandemic.

Its members include representatives from all the various health authorities as well as the National Police. Senior civil servants from various ministries are also present.

The government and parliament generally broadly follow the recommendations made by the Commission.

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Denmark’s autumn Covid-19 strategy to be presented ‘before summer’

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Monday that the government will soon present a strategy for managing Covid-19 should the virus resurge in Denmark next autumn and winter.

Denmark’s autumn Covid-19 strategy to be presented 'before summer'

Although everyday life in Denmark is now free of any signs of Covid-19 restrictions, a plan will be put in place to manage a potential increase in cases of the virus once colder months return, Frederiksen said during remarks in parliament.

During a speech given as part of the parliament’s closing session before its summer break, Frederiksen noted that the coronavirus still persists in other countries and that Denmark must therefore have its own plan in place for future management of outbreaks.

“The government will therefore, before the summer (holiday), present a strategy for ongoing Covid management. We will discuss it with the other parties in parliament,” she said.

Frederiksen also said that Denmark was among the countries to have coped best with the pandemic.

“We are one of the countries that have had the lowest excess deaths. And one of the countries that has emerged best from the crisis economically. That is thanks to the efforts of each individual citizen in the country,” she said.

A new wave of Covid-19 cases later this year can be expected, according to a Danish medical expert.

“As things look now, we can reasonably hope that the thoroughly vaccinated population will be well protected against serious cases and that we will therefore see few hospitalisations,” Henrik Nielsen, senior medical consultant at Aalborg University’s infectious disease department, told news wire Ritzau.

“But the number of infections could very easily be high in the autumn and winter with a respiratory virus that gives a few days’ sickness. We expected serious cases to be limited in number,” he said.