Denmark on Tuesday became the first EU country to lift all of its Covid restrictions amid the current Omicron wave of the virus.
That means the end of rules including requirements to wear face masks, present a valid coronapas (Covid-19 health pass) and limited opening hours for bars and restaurants.
A few rules have been kept in relation to face mask and coronapas use. These apply primarily in health and social care settings.
Elderly care homes and social facilities with vulnerable residents are asked to retain coronapas and face mask rules for visitors as far as possible.
Visitors to care and social facilities are asked to take a test prior to their visit and can be given a rapid antigen test which they can take in advance. Staff in the sector are asked to take a PCR test once a week (for vaccinated or previously infected persons) or twice a week (if not vaccinated or previously infected). They are also asked to take antigen tests prior to each shift at work.
The Danish Health Authority recommends face masks continue to be used in social and health care settings where there is close contact between staff and patients or persons at risk of serious illness with Covid-19, as well as to protect the sector in general by preventing outbreaks.
As such, masks should be used in both the public and private sphere if there is close contact with a person who could be at risk of serious illness if they are infected with Covid-19. This can be at hospitals and doctors’ surgeries and visits by health sector staff to patients’ own homes.
Travel restrictions were also eased on Tuesday, meaning people who can document vaccination with an EU approved vaccine, or who have been previously infected with Covid-19, will not have to test or quarantine on arrival in Denmark regardless of where in the world they are travelling from.
People who are neither vaccinated nor previously infected must take a test for Covid-19 for entry to Denmark from EU or Schengen countries.
Unvaccinated people with no infection history travelling from outside the EU and Schengen area must also test and may be required to quarantine.
With restrictions now largely gone, people in Denmark are being urged to exercise personal responsibility.
“Without a Covid pass there will be a shift of responsibility”, epidemiologist Lone Simonsen of the University of Roskilde told news wire AFP.
Danes have increasingly used home tests to detect infection, but these are now being phased out and instead, anyone with symptoms is advised to stay home.
The Danish Health Authority currently recommends those who test positive to isolate for only four days provided they no longer have symptoms.
Meanwhile, contacts to confirmed cases no longer need to quarantine unless they have symptoms.