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People in Copenhagen last week.
People in Copenhagen last week.
Image: Olafur Steinar Gestsson

Denmark lifts the last of its Covid restrictions

50,000 people will attend a concert in Copenhagen tomorrow.
Sep 10th 2021, 7:18 AM 26,841 32

DENMARK HAS DITCHED the requirement for vaccine passports in nightclubs, ending its last domestic Covid curb.

The vaccine passports were introduced in March 2021 when Copenhagen slowly started easing restrictions.

They were abolished at all venues on 1 September, except in nightclubs, where they will be no longer necessary from today.

Tomorrow, a sold-out concert in Copenhagen will welcome 50,000 people, a first in Europe.

Already on 4 September Live Nation organised a first open-air festival which gathered 15,000 people in Copenhagen.

73% of Denmark’s 5.8 million population is fully vaccinated. Of those aged 65 and older, 96% are fully jabbed.

‘Aiming for free movement’ 

“We’re aiming for free movement… What will happen now is that the virus will circulate and it will find the ones who are not vaccinated,” epidemiologist Lone Simonsen told AFP.

“Now the virus is no longer a societal threat, thanks to the vaccine,” said Simonsen, who works at the University of Roskilde.

However, people who are fully vaccinated can still test positive for Covid-19. 

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn told RTÉ last month: “No vaccine is 100% effective, so there will be cases in people who are fully vaccinated.

“But the key element of this is the really fantastic effectiveness of these vaccines against symptomatic disease, and even more importantly, against serious disease that results in hospitalisation, and admission to critical care, or death.”

According to the World Health Organization, Denmark has benefitted from public compliance with government guidelines and the Covid strategy adopted.

“Like many countries, Denmark has, throughout the pandemic, implemented public health and social measures to reduce transmission. But at the same time it has greatly relied on individuals and communities to comply voluntarily,” said Catherine Smallwood, WHO Europe’s emergency officer.

With around 500 daily Covid cases and a reproduction rate of 0.7, Danish authorities say they have the virus under control.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke has however vowed that the government would not hesitate to swiftly reimpose restrictions if necessary.

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Authorities insist that the return to normal life must be coupled with strict hygiene measures and the isolation of sick people.

The WHO still considers the global situation critical and has urged caution.

“Every country needs to remain vigilant as and when the epidemiological situation changes,” Smallwood said.

Denmark has said it will keep a close eye on the number of hospitalisations – just under 130 at the moment – and conduct meticulous sequencing to follow the virus.

A third vaccine dose has also been available to at-risk groups since yesterday.

Simonsen said the vaccines have so far provided immunity from variants “but if escape variants [resistant to the vaccine] were to appear, we will have to rethink our strategy.”

Travellers entering Denmark must still present either a vaccine passport or a negative PCR test, and masks are mandatory in airports.

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