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WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

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

Covid-19 testing capacity will continue to be reduced and the release of preliminary tax information are among the changes which will affect life in Denmark in March.

covid-19 test centre
Denmark will reduce PCR testing capacity and close rapid testing centres for Covid-19 in March 2022. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Covid-19 testing capacity to be reduced

All of Denmark’s rapid antigen Covid-19 test centres are to close by March 6th. The test centres, which have been phased out throughout February with more emphasis placed on home testing, will be decommissioned completely in the first week of March.

READ ALSO: Denmark to close Covid-19 rapid test centres by March

The capacity for PCR tests is also to be scaled down, the Danish Critical Supply Agency (Styrelsen for Forsyningssikkerhed) said on February 28th.

The decision to reduce PCR testing capacity was made in response to a reduction in demand after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted at the beginning of February. Fewer tests are being conducted daily than they were one month ago.

PCR test capacity will be reduced from 200,000 tests to 140,000 tests per day nationally, the agency said.

All restrictions on travel from EU and Schengen zone lifted

Travel to Denmark from any part of the EU and Schengen aone will no longer be subject to any restrictions from March 1st. That means no restrictions on any travellers from the EU, regardless of Covid-19 vaccination status.

Under outgoing restrictions, unvaccinated travellers were required to take a Covid-19 test within 24 hours of arrival in Denmark.

That no longer applies to people from the EU or Schengen area as of March 1st, though it will still apply to people travelling from outside those regions (unless vaccinated with an approved vaccine).

Russian aircraft banned from Danish airspace

Denmark has closed its airspace off to Russian aircraft in response to the latter country’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, in a decision confirmed by Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod on February 27th.

For Danes and residents of Denmark, that could cause difficulties travelling to and from Russia, given that Russia on February 28th reciprocated European countries’ flight bans by blocking aircraft from 36 countries, including Denmark, from entering its airspace.

The bans make travelling between the two countries by air impossible without rerouting through a third country which is unaffected by the decisions.

Preliminary tax returns published

The release of the årsopgørelse (annual tax return, calculated and displayed on the SKAT website at the beginning of March) is possibly the most important event on the Danish tax calendar.

Accessing the annual tax return is possible from March. Within a set deadline which falls at the beginning of May, taxpayers can edit their tax information, such as by changing income or tax exemption information.

Around three out of four taxpayers in Denmark get refunds after the yearly annual return although others have to pay money back to the tax authority, however.

Prior to the publication of the annual return, you can check how much tax you’ve paid or are due to pay during the course of the year and edit your income and deductions details on the preliminary version of the return, the forskudsopgørelse. 

Switch to summertime means light evenings are back

The change to GMT+2 or summertime on Sunday, March 27th means an end to dark evenings for another season. Clocks go forward by one hour at 3am on the 27th, meaning one hour less of sleep that weekend to offset the change.

Politicians in Denmark and the EU have in recent years discussed scrapping the twice-yearly changing of the clocks for daylight saving, but it continues for the time being at least.

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: Everything that changes about life in Denmark in May 2022

The tax return deadline, more public holidays and thousands of runners returning to the streets of Copenhagen are among the things to expect in Denmark in May.

KEY POINTS: Everything that changes about life in Denmark in May 2022

Deadline for making changes to tax returns 

If you haven’t yet done so, now’s the time to log on to tax website skat.dk and check your annual return or årsopgørelse.

Tax returns are published by tax authorities each March and taxpayers have until May 1st to check their details – relating to earnings, tax payments and deductions – are correct. In some cases, making sure you have the right information on your tax return can mean you get a tax rebate.

The tax authorities have in recent years asked taxpayers to pay particular attention to their commuter deduction or kørselsfradrag information, after the method for entering this on the return became more manual as home working increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. But all information can be checked and updated on the online return up to May 1st.

READ ALSO:

Switch to summer tyres (if you haven’t already)

Alternating between winter and summer tyres is not a legal requirement in Denmark, but is broadly recommended, including by FDM, the Danish membership organisation for motorists.

Neighbouring SwedenNorway and Germany – where many Danish residents head on skiing and other holidays during the colder months – all have rules requiring winter tyres, meanwhile, meaning the practice is common in Denmark, not least for those who may need to take their cars over the border.

Most people switch back to summer tyres at Easter, which this year fell on April 17th. But the week leading up to Easter was cold for the time of year with some frosts in the mornings, so some car owners may have held out a little longer.

More about the practice of using winter and summer tyres in Denmark can be found in this article.

Public holidays

Following on from Easter, we’re still in boom season for public holidays in Denmark.

Great Prayer Day or Store Bededag gives a long weekend starting Friday May 13th, while Ascension Day, Kristi Himmelfartsdag in Danish, is less than two weeks later on Thursday May 26th.

Many Danes take the Friday after Ascension Day as annual leave, giving them a four-day weekend at the cost of only one day of leave.

READ ALSO: What public holidays does Denmark have in 2022?

Look out for extension of border controls

Temporary border controls in place in Denmark since 2016 are currently scheduled to expire on May 11th but will be extended if past practice is basis for prediction.

First introduced in January 2016 in response to the European refugee crisis of late 2015, Denmark’s border controls have remained in place since through regular extensions. The checks generally consist of spot checks at border crossing.

EU countries which are part of the Schengen agreement, like Denmark, are permitted to introduce border controls if these are deemed necessary to protect internal security. The Danish government cited the treat of Islamist terrorism and organised crime in its justification for retaining the controls when they were most recently extended in October.

The controls can be extended for a maximum of six months. As such, they are still considered to be temporary even though they have now been in place for over six years.

Controls at borders undertaken as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are no longer in place, so all checks are security related.

Return of Copenhagen Marathon

After a three-year absence caused by consecutive cancellations due to Covid-19, the 41st edition of the Copenhagen Marathon takes place on May 15th.

The 42.2-kilometre route through the Danish capital starts and finishes by the harbour at Islands Brygge and takes in each of the central districts: Vesterbro, the Inner City, Østerbro, Frederiksberg and Nørrebro.

There’s usually a great energy along the route. I’d recommend either Nørrebrogade near Dronning Louises Bro (Bridge) or Islands Brygge as the best spots to take in the atmosphere.

New parking rules take effect

Municipal parking rules change on May 1st and it’s worth being aware of these to avoid an unwanted yellow ticket on your windscreen.

The new rules mean that municipalities can now issue fines for cars parked on areas that divide roads with bicycle lanes and pavements (sidewalks). This broadens existing rules against parking on pavements, either completely or partially.

Sometimes the ‘reservation’ or grassy or gravel area between a road and the cycle lane (or pavement) might be wide enough for a car, or part of one, and could be used for parking on. This is no longer permitted, motorists’ organisation FDM writes.

A ticket for breaching the new parking regulations will set you back 510 kroner.

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