Denmark Lifts the Last of Its Pandemic Restrictions
Denmark has lifted the last of its coronavirus restrictions, effectively declaring that the virus was no longer a “critical threat to society” and allowing the country to get back to a semblance of prepandemic normal.
“This can only be done because we have come a long way with the vaccination rollout, have a strong epidemic control, and because the entire Danish population has made an enormous effort to get here,” Magnus Heunicke, Denmark’s health minister, said in a statement on Friday about the lifting of restrictions.
The Danish government announced late last month that it would allow the restrictions to lapse, and pointed to Denmark’s high vaccination rates. As of Saturday, about 76 percent of the country’s population had received one dose of a vaccine, and 73 percent had been fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by The New York Times.
While the rules lifted on Friday allow Danes to go more freely about their lives, foreign travelers will still be subject to some restrictions, including presenting a negative coronavirus test upon arrival or possibly even isolating for 10 days, depending on where they are coming from.
The Danish government had been gradually easing its coronavirus restrictions for weeks, including lifting a public transportation mask mandate in mid-August. But the rules lifted this week included the expiration of the coronavirus passport requirement that it had in place for entry into venues like nightclubs.
Mr. Heunicke said that the Danish government would continue to monitor the pandemic, and that it would be “ready to act quickly” if the situation were to deteriorate.
Denmark was one of the hardest hit countries of Scandinavia, though its northern neighbor Sweden, which shunned hard lockdowns, fared far worse. But cases have fallen in both, and Sweden expects to loosen most of its restrictions starting at the end of the month.
By contrast, Norway, which like Finland had kept cases low through most of the pandemic, is experiencing is worst outbreak to date. However, deaths remain low thanks to Norway’s high vaccination rates — 74 percent of the population have had at least one shot and 64 percent are fully vaccinated.