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Denmark lifts last of pandemic restrictions

Denmark lifted the last of its coronavirus restrictions, effectively declaring the virus no longer a “critical threat to society” and allowing the country to return to a semblance of pre-pandemic normal.

“This can only be done because we have come a long way with the roll-out of vaccination, we have strong epidemic control and because the entire Danish population has made enormous efforts to get here”, Danish Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke said in a statement. statement Friday on lifting restrictions.

The Danish government announced late last month that it would allow restrictions to expire and highlighted the high vaccination rates in Denmark. As of Saturday, about 76% of the nation’s population had received a dose of the vaccine and 73% had been fully immunized, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

While rules lifted on Friday allow Danes to live their lives more freely, foreign travelers will still be subject to certain restrictions, including showing a negative coronavirus test on arrival or perhaps even isolation for 10 days. , according to their origin.

The Danish government has been gradually easing its restrictions on coronaviruses for weeks, including lifting a public transport mask mandate in mid-August. But the rules lifted this week included the expiration of the coronavirus passport requirement she had in place for entry to places like nightclubs.

Mr Heunicke said the Danish government would continue to monitor the pandemic, and would be “ready to act quickly” if the situation worsened.

Denmark has been one of the hardest-hit countries in Scandinavia, although its northern neighbor Sweden, which has avoided hard lockdowns, has fared well. But cases have declined in both, and Sweden expects to ease most of its restrictions from the end of the month.

In contrast, Norway, which, like Finland, had maintained a low number of cases for most of the pandemic, is experiencing the worst outbreak to date. However, deaths remain low thanks to high vaccination rates in Norway – 74 percent of the population has received at least one injection and 64 percent are fully vaccinated.