Businesses in Denmark say they will continue with Covid-19 measures such as face masks, Covid passes and quarantine rules for close contacts even after national rules end, broadcaster DR reports.
Denmark plans to lift its Covid-19 restrictions on February 1st despite record infections, as its high vaccination rate is deemed sufficient against the milder Omicron variant, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
The end of restrictions is expected to lead to increased infection numbers. As a result, businesses are considering keeping measures in place to limit the number of staff off sick due to isolation, according to DR’s report.
In addition to the imminent end of coronapas and face mask rules, people considered close contacts to confirmed Covid-19 cases are no longer required to self-isolate unless they develop symptoms or test positive themselves, according to new Danish Health Authority guidelines.
“We are sticking to (asking) people who have family members in their homes who have corona to stay at home until they have tested negative after four and six days, or their family member is out of isolation,” Niels Petersen, CEO of Aarhus company Carletti, which produces sweets, told DR.
The company is already hit by high staff sickness and not asking close contacts to isolate could worsen the situation, he said.
Another company boss said that staff would be asked to continue wearing face masks.
“I fear that we are going from corona being a critical threat to society to a critical threat to businesses,” Michael Hansen, CEO of metal company Nytech, told DR.
The company has already had to delay orders due to staff sickness, he said.
“We will continue the high level with face masks, hand sanitiser and working from home as far as possible. And we will continue to ask staff to take home tests,” he said.
The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri) told DR that a number of companies would like to continue using the Covid-19 health pass, the coronapas while others would like to retain face mask rules.
“We will therefore support companies still being able to ask for a coronapas,” DI’s head of employment law Søren Dupont Dall said to the broadcaster.
The Epidemic Commission has recommended allowing businesses to continuing asking customers for a valid Covid-19 pass if they wish to do so, but this has not been applied to staff.
“Right now we have clear laws which give employers the option of seeing a coronapas, but if that law expires it could cause uncertainty. And that is not sensible,” Dupont Dall said.
The organisation nevertheless welcomed the end of restrictions and classification of Covid-19 as a critical threat to society.