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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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TRAVEL NEWS

Copenhagen Airport passengers warned of more queues on holiday weekends

Long queues were reported at Copenhagen Airport during last week’s extended public holiday weekend and similar issues are likely during two more upcoming holidays.

Copenhagen Airport passengers warned of more queues on holiday weekends

Staff shortages at security checks, caused by a lengthy rehiring process following the Covid-19 crisis, have been blamed for crowds and long queues at Copenhagen Airport during peak times this spring.

Long waiting times at security were reported both Thursday and Sunday at Copenhagen Airport, resulting in a significant number of passengers missing flights, broadcaster DR writes.

The airport’s commercial director Peter Krogsgaard told DR that Copenhagen is not alone in experiencing problems with queues.

“Copenhagen Airport and all airports in Europe have had a lot to do in re-hiring and training many employees after corona,” Krogsgaard said.

“We are therefore seeing that, now passengers are coming back and fortunately want to travel again, we are under a bit of pressure to begin with,” he said.

This means that passengers planning to travel during two more upcoming peak times – the public holidays on Ascension Day (Thursday May 26th) and Pentecost (Monday June 6th) – should brace themselves for lengthy queues at the airport.

Up to 70,000 passengers are expected during the first of the two public holidays, according to Copenhagen Airport.

“We expect to be very busy and are therefore advising all passengers travelling within Europe to arrive two hours before their flight. If you are going to outside of Europe, to the Unites States or Asia, you should come three hours before,” Krogsgaard told DR.

Passengers have few options should they miss flights due to long waits at security, a consumer rights consultant said to DR.

“You are in a very bad situation if you get to the airport too late in relation to the waiting times there actually are at security, because it’s your own responsibility to get to the airport in time to make the flight,” Vagn Jelsøe, senior consultant with the Danish Consumer Council (Forbrugerrådet Tænk), said to DR.

The airport expects to be fully staffed by the beginning of June, DR reports.

“Since January, we’ve done nothing other than hire a lot of new people and they must be trained and educated, and it takes some time for them to get to the security lanes,” Krogsgaard also said.

Airline SAS last week said it would cancel around 4,000 flights over the summer. The decision was made due to staff shortages combined with delayed deliveries of new aeroplanes, SAS said.

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