Denmark to drop Covid-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated persons

Denmark on Friday announced it will retain a small number of Covid-19 travel restrictions in February but these will not apply to people vaccinated against the virus.

An aircraft taking off from Billund Airport. Vaccinated travellers will not be subject to Covid-19 entry testing or quarantine rules in Denmark from February 1st 2022.
An aircraft taking off from Billund Airport. Vaccinated travellers will not be subject to Covid-19 entry testing or quarantine rules in Denmark from February 1st 2022. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

People who can document vaccination with an EU approved vaccine, or who have been previously infected with Covid-19, will not be affected by entry testing or quarantine requirements regardless of where in the world they are travelling from, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Previous infection means being able to provide documentation of a positive Covid-19 test taken between 11 and 180 days ago.

People who are neither vaccinated nor previously infected must take a test for Covid-19 no more than 24 hours following entry to Denmark from EU or Schengen countries. They may alternatively take a PCR test within 72 hours prior to entry to Denmark, or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours before entry.

Unvaccinated people with no infection history travelling from outside the EU and Schengen area are affected by different rules depending on whether they are travelling from what Denmark categorises a “risk” or “high risk” country.

For “risk” countries, unvaccinated travellers must take a test within 24 hours of entry (excluded previously infected persons).

For “high risk” countries, travellers most both take a test and isolate following arrival in Denmark.

Covid-19 “risk countries” are — at the time of writing — Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, UAE, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Uruguay, plus Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Covid-19 “high risk” countries are all countries not on the above list that are not in the EU or Schengen area. The United Kingdom, United States, Australia and South Africa, for example, therefore all fall into this group.

The list of risk and high risk countries is updated on an ongoing basis and can be checked on the official Danish Covid-19 information website. Isolation rules can apply for travellers arriving from outside the EU and Schengen area.

Children under 15 are exempted from all testing and isolation rules.

Under the outgoing rules, all foreign residents entering Denmark must provide a negative Covid-19 test on entry, regardless of vaccination status. Residents of Denmark can take a test within 24 hours after arrival.

The new travel rules take effect on February 1st.

Denmark is set to lift domestic Covid-19 restrictions next week. The government on Wednesday said it would lift Covid-19 restrictions on February 1st despite record infections, citing its high vaccination rate and lower critical hospital cases caused by the milder Omicron variant.

The change will lead to the de facto lifting of all domestic restrictions, including the use of a vaccine pass, mask-wearing and early closing times for bars and restaurants.

53,655 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in Denmark on Friday, an all-time high for the pandemic. The number of patients with Covid-19 in hospital rose to 967, which is also a record.

However, the national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute said that up to 40 percent of people with Covid-19 in hospitals in early January were admitted for reasons other than Covid-19, but had also tested positive for the virus.

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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.