Merely weeks after imposing some of the strictest Covid mandates in Europe due to the swift Omicron spread, Denmark is leading the way among Scandinavian countries in lifting all internal restrictions for citizens and visitors alike.
In other news that will certainly be welcomed by international arrivals, all post-arrival testing has also been scrapped. Up until now, most passengers vaccinated or not were expected to undergo extensive testing upon landing in Copenhagen or other Danish entry points.
What Is Changing In Demark From February 1
As confirmed by the Danish government, February 1 will mark the day all Covid restrictions are abolished in Denmark. The measure follows a recommendation by the country’s Epidemic Commission, which has advised the government on pandemic measures from the onset of the crisis.
Although their web page is yet to be updated with more information, SchengenVisaInfo has learned that a myriad of restrictions, including mandatory mask-wearing, presentation of health passes for entry into venues, curfews, as well as post-arrival testing and quarantine will all get axed in early February.
And there’s more: the press release issued by the Health Ministry mentions a recommendation that Denmark ends the current stricter testing requirement prior to entry after January 31, although there is no confirmation as of yet whether the government will follow this specific advice and abandon pre-departure testing.
On the other hand, the country’s Epidemic Commission has reportedly advised the government to maintain the previous general restrictions “that applied before the introduction of the stricter temporary requirements”. As stated in the press release, they should be continued from February 1 and “provisionally” up to February 28.
Although these so-called “general restrictions” were not specified, the Commission possibly refers to vaccination for facilitated entry and hardened rules for those who have not taken their shots. Regardless of the outcome, it is safe to say some border measures will continue to apply even after February 1.
New Border Measures Are Yet To Be Officially Outlined
While internal controls are due to expire, the Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke has said the government is “awaiting an answer” on whether Parliament supports the extension of the aforementioned entry requirements for travelers.
Despite opening up to vaccinated American and Canadian travelers with few to no restrictions over summer 2021, Denmark has since taken a step back and now expects immunized individuals to present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of entry (or a rapid antigen in under 48 hours).
For now, it is believed pre-departure testing will remain effective irrespective of more relaxed rules on a domestic level, particularly for those who enter Denmark without proof of vaccination. On top of that, it is still not clear whether the country will further simplify its complex country categorization.
Currently, travel from certain regions has been drastically curtailed, with arrivals from “high-risk” destinations expected to undergo further testing post-arrival and quarantine if unvaccinated. This normally includes Americans hoping to visit the Viking homeland.
Only a select number of nations and territories are exceptions, including the likes of Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
Denmark To Join A Growing Number Of European Nations In Relaxing Health Controls
The positive news emerging from Denmark follow those of other European nations such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, which have gone even further and recently ended all testing requirements for vaccinated travelers.
The European Union, a geopolitical union of which Denmark is a part of, is also due to align from February 1 on the validity of health passes and booster requirements, bringing an end to the dreaded patchwork of restrictions across the continent that have been every traveler’s worst nightmare.
Even though the new measures are still being discussed at length in Denmark, the fact that neighboring Norway is also soon moving away from strict Covid mandates indicates Scandinavia as a whole might be finally taking a more relaxed approach to the pandemic.
As Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen stated, “we now dare to believe that we are through the critical phase“, even though he concedes the pandemic is “still here”.
Denmark is also one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, and its decision to roll back measures after January 31 is a sign it may be ready to reclassify Covid as an endemic disease.
The World Health Organization will certainly applaud Denmark’s decision of simplifying testing rules, avoiding placing the burden on travelers, although they still strongly disagree developed nations should consider the pandemic to be over.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories