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LIVING IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in February 2022?

Coronavirus restrictions and travel rules are among the changes which will affect life in Denmark in February.

Hailstones in Denmark in February 2020. The country will lift its Covid-19 restrictions in February 2022.
Hailstones in Denmark in February 2020. The country will lift its Covid-19 restrictions in February 2022. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

No Covid-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated persons

A small number of Covid-19 travel restrictions will be retained in February but these will not apply to people vaccinated against the virus.

People who can document vaccination with an EU approved vaccine, or who have been previously infected with Covid-19, will no longer have to take a test or quarantine on entering Denmark regardless of where in the world they are travelling from, the government recently announced.

For travel to Denmark from EU or Schengen countries, people who are neither vaccinated nor previously infected must take a test for Covid-19 no more than 24 hours following entry, or may alternatively take a test prior to travel.

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.

Full details of how the rules will change can be found here.

Domestic restrictions to be lifted on February 1st

All domestic restrictions, including the use of a vaccine pass, mask-wearing and early closings for bars and restaurants, are to be lifted on February 1st.

A coronapas has been required since late last year at bars and restaurants among other settings, while face mask rules have been in place in stores, on public transport and in health and social care settings.

The decision was announced by the government last week despite high infection rates, with falling ICU patient numbers, high vaccine uptake and the milder Omicron variant forming the background of the decision.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s Covid-19 rules for close contacts and ‘other’ contacts

Restrictions on alcohol sales to end a few hours early

If you want to celebrate the end of restrictions with a late drink, it will be possible to do so the day before the change takes full effect.

With general Covid restrictions scheduled to be lifted on February 1st, the government has brought forward the end of the restrictions on bars by a few hours.

The decision was made to avoid a situation in which bars would have had to close at 11pm on January 31st, only to open again an hour later following the cut-off point for the outgoing restrictions.

Alcohol may also be sold after 10pm from January 31st, including in stores.

Covid-19 sick leave compensation could end

Increased sick days taken by staff at Danish companies, related to the country’s current high rate of Covid-19 infections and self-isolation rules, are currently eligible for special compensation under a deal reached by the government and the labour market late last year.

Under normal Danish sick leave rules, companies must pay up to the first 30 days of sick pay for staff. The current special provision allows companies to apply for reimbursement for this.

A criterion for the compensation is that the staff member in question is unable to work from home.

The agreement is set to expire on February 28th 2022. It will be reviewed close to this time to assess whether an extension is needed.

Return to ‘normal life’ in sight?

At the beginning of January, the head of department and senior consultant at the State Serum Institute (SSI), Tyra Grove Krause, said that she expected the current wave of Covid-19 infections in Denmark, driven by the dominant Omicron variant, to peak in coming weeks before drop in infections in February.

“Omicron will peak at the end of January, and February will see falling infection numbers and a reduction in strain on the health system. But we must make an effort in January, because it will be hard to get through,” she said in an interview.

“I think (Covid-19) will have the next two months and after that I hope that infections will begin to pare back and we will get our normal lives back,” she also said.

Although there is little sign of infection numbers flattening at the time of writing, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke of a return to “life as we knew it” after announcing the end of Covid restrictions last week.

“We are saying farewell to the restrictions and welcome to life as we knew it before corona,” Frederiksen told a press conference.

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WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2022?

Cancelled SAS flights, early autumn events, a potential election and the sands of time run down on NemID this September in Denmark.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2022?

Many SAS flights remain cancelled 

Scandinavian airline SAS has cancelled 1,700 flights in September and October as a result of continuing staffing problems.

According to reports, 1,200 departures planned for September have been cancelled, as have around 500 planned departures for October.

Domestic flights in the Scandinavian region and international flights within Europe are both affected, with the airline blaming the after effects of the 15-day pilot strike it suffered in July

READ ALSO: SAS cancels 1,700 flights in September and October

Possible election?

August has seen plenty of speculation that a general election could be announced imminently. That has not happened at the time of writing, but the possibility remains strong going into September.

Although the government could wait until next year to call a general election – the last one was in 2019 – Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is under some pressure to hold the vote this autumn.

There are a number of factors involved, including a parliamentary stalemate that could hold up new legislation; and threats by the government’s allies, the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party to withdraw its backing for Frederiksen’s administration – depriving it of a parliamentary majority.

With the government still under fire over its handling of the mink scandal and recent poll results poor, it doesn’t seem like an ideal moment for Frederiksen to call an election. But her hand could be forced at some point in the coming weeks.

READ ALSO: How likely is Denmark to have a general election ahead of schedule?

Deadline for switching to MitID nears

If you haven’t yet moved from Denmark’s NemID secure online ID system to its replacement, MitID, now might be a good time to start.

The final deadline to switch – when NemID is set to be turned off – is October 31st. After this date, only MitID can be used to log on to secure platforms like banking and public services.

Some foreign residents need to visit the Borgerservice citizens’ service desk in the local municipality in order to change from NemID to MitID. This is because the change requires users to confirm their identities. This can be done online if you have a Danish passport – but of course, not everyone who lives in Denmark has one of these.

This doesn’t mean all foreign residents need to go to Borgerservice to set up MitID. If you have recently confirmed your identity with authorities in person (for example, if you set up NemID at Borgerservice not too long ago) then your details will be on record and you should be able to switch online.

For others, an appointment might need to be made, which will require a bit of planning ahead – hence the logic in getting things arranged before October rolls around.

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID

Early autumn events

There are plenty of events to keep you entertained during the first month of autumn, catering to various tastes.

For example, international children’s film festival Buster starts in Copenhagen on September 26th, filling the capital’s cinemas with Danish and international movies for kids.

The Fredensborg Slotsmarked (Fredensborg Palace Market) on September 10th brings local foods and drink, art, design, antiques, furniture, clothes and toys to a large flea market on the doorstep of the royal residence in northern Zealand.

If you’re of an active nature, the Copenhagen Half Marathon (September 18th) usually brings a great atmosphere to the city’s streets, not to mention around 25,000 runners. The route is fast: a men’s world record was set by Kenyan athlete Geoffrey Kamworor during the 2019 edition.

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