Pandemic: Denmark is lifting all restrictions despite the high number of corona infections

Street scene in Copenhagen

Denmark lifts the corona restrictions.

(Foto: imago images/Dean Pictures)

Stockholm Denmark no longer classifies Corona as a threat to society. Therefore, all restrictions that still apply, such as the obligation to wear masks in local public transport and other public places, could be lifted, said Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke on Wednesday.

Also, vaccination certificates are no longer required for access to leisure, cultural and gastronomic facilities. If Parliament agrees to the proposal, the remaining restrictions will end on January 31. The classification of Covid-19 as a disease that threatens society is to be lifted on February 5.

The entry and test regulations are not affected by the relaxation. Anyone traveling to Denmark must show a negative PCR test that is not older than 72 hours. An antigen test must not be older than 48 hours.

With a good 5000, Denmark has one of the highest seven-day incidences in Europe. Although new infections have skyrocketed, the number of intensive care patients remains at a stable, low level. “We believe that the epidemic will reach its peak in a timely manner,” Heunicke tweeted. Nevertheless, he emphasized that the pandemic was not over yet.

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The Danish decision to lift the restrictions follows a recommendation from the Corona Expert Commission. The state serum institute SSI also expects that herd immunity will soon be achieved in Denmark. “Infection numbers will fall as it becomes increasingly difficult for the virus to find victims in society,” said SSI chief epidemiologist Tyra Grove Krause.

One reason for this is the comparatively high willingness to vaccinate among Danes. Over 81 percent of the population has been vaccinated twice, and just over 60 percent of the population have received a booster vaccination. Another reason is that around one in four people in Denmark has already been infected.

Unlike Denmark, Sweden is extending the restrictions

Denmark had already lifted almost all restrictions in September last year and no longer viewed the pandemic as dangerous to society. Only a few weeks later, however, the government had to backtrack and reintroduce the restrictions that had just been lifted because the number of infections skyrocketed. And even now it cannot be ruled out that new restrictions will be reintroduced if the infection situation worsens.

The social democratic minority government of Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen initially took a relatively tough course during the corona pandemic: restrictions were introduced as soon as the number of infections rose. In contrast to several other countries, the majority of the population in the small kingdom supported the restrictions, and there were hardly any protests.

While Denmark is lifting almost all restrictions, the government in neighboring Sweden extended all applicable restrictions for a further two weeks on Wednesday. “We are lagging behind other countries in terms of time,” explained Health Minister Lena Hallengren about the different strategies of Denmark and Sweden.

She emphasized that Sweden is currently struggling with “an extremely high infection rate”. The seven-day incidence is over 2600. Therefore, restrictions on the number of visitors to public events or restaurants continue to apply. In addition, all catering establishments must close by 11 p.m. at the latest.

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