Denmark Relaxes Lockdown Restrictions for Citizens and Travellers
After months of lockdown, Denmark has slowly begun to relax its restrictions, beginning after Easter where students were gradually allowed to return to school in a hybrid format. Those in the service industry were able to open to customers holding a vaccination passport or 72 hour negative test as well.
Furthermore, looser restrictions were introduced to the Nordic country on 21 April, citizens are now able to go to bars, restaurants, museums and sporting events with proof of vaccination or a negative test. However, people are only allowed to eat out or meet at bars if they have a reservation, yet this is not needed for outdoor seating.
In terms of progress in vaccinating the country, around 20% of Denmark’s 5.8 million inhabitants have received the first dose, while 10% are fully vaccinated. The vaccination campaign was slowed down due to the government’s discarding of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerning side effects, nonetheless they expect the entire population to be vaccinated by the end of summer.
While clubs are forced to stay closed for the time being, 6 May will bring open doors to cinemas, concert halls and theatres. Initially, this was the date that was meant for Denmark’s reopening of bars and restaurants, however after an agreement reached in parliament the country decided to reopen sooner.
Infection numbers are slowly rising in comparison to the earlier months of lockdown in 2021, yet the infection rate has in fact slightly dropped to 0.36%. This is due to more testing being done since people are required to present negative tests when going out, therefore there is no worry at the moment in the early stages of the recent reopening.
Currently, the death toll in Denmark has reached 2,472, with five more in the last 24 hours. In addition to that, yesterday nurses across the country are introducing the possibility of a strike for higher pay largely due to the demands of their jobs during the pandemic.
“This year we have seen how important and significant our roles are, but some of us still have too low of a salary.” said the chairman of the Danish Nurses Organization, Grete Christensen. 10% of nurses announced that if the wages are not raised, an official strike will begin 21 May.
Yet regardless, Danish government remains firm in their reopening, especially after hundreds of protesters held a demonstration in Copenhagen on 10 April, coordinated by ‘Men In Black,’ a movement across Denmark against pandemic restrictions.
“What they share is a certain level of mistrust against government and mistrust towards production of knowledge,” said Eske Vinther Jensen to Radio France International. Jensen works as a consultant specialising in Covid-19 disinformation. However, Denmark’s Health Ministry affirms solid ground on the future.
“Denmark is succeeding in keeping the epidemic at a stable, low level,” said Health Minister Magnus Heinecke, giving ground for the country to consider and initiate the reopening process. Moreover, the foreign ministry aligned itself with the actions taken by the government inland and made changes towards the travel restrictions as well.
Entry from EU and Schengen area countries is now possible without any worthy reason. Furthermore, travellers from these countries are exempted from isolation upon entry as well. These countries are now labelled as yellow, while other countries remain orange and red other than those that meet the COVID criteria for the EU entry, such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Image attribution:”Christianshavn at winter, Copenhagen, Denmark / Christianshavn om vinteren, København, Danmark” by Kristoffer Trolle is licensed under CC BY 2.0