A tourist poses by the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen harbour. Photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Ritzau Scanpix
“I am pleased that we can now take a significant step towards normalisation and enable the Danes to travel to more countries in Europe,” Denmark's foreign minister Jeppe Kofod said in a press release.
“We stand in a significantly better place in Denmark than we had dared to hope just a short time ago. That's why we can now relax the travel guides in a way that allows us to open up most of Europe.”
When countries enter the “open” list, Denmark will also change its travel recommendations for Danish citizens, so that travel is not limited to situations where it is “absolutely necessary”.
Under the new system, Denmark's infectious diseases agency SSI will rank each country in the EU, UK and Schengen area as either “open”, “quarantine”, or “closed”, basing its appraisal chiefly on how many coronavirus infections have been registered in the preceding week.
If a country has registered fewer than 20 coronavirus infections per 100,000 people over the preceding week, it is ranked “open”, if it has registered fewer than 30 cases, it is ranked a “quarantine” country, and if it has registered above 30, it is ranked “closed”.
The SSI will also criterion is study countries' testing regimes to ensure that they are adequate.
The first appraisal will be released on June 25th, two days before the new border regime comes into force, but in the press release, it said that both Sweden and Portugal would currently be counted as quarantined.
Sweden has 75.5 cases per 100,000, while Portugal currently has 20.2 new cases.
However, if a country in the Nordic region does not fulfil the criteria to be 'open', the a special “Nordic mechanism” kicks in, allowing the infection rate to be looked at on a regional basis.
This means that residents of Skåne, Sörmland and Västerbotten in Sweden will be allowed to enter Denmark.
As before, tourists coming to Denmark from the EU, Schengen countries and the UK, will need to show that they have booked accommodation for at least six nights.
This requirement will not, however, apply to residents of 'border regions' of Schleswig-Holstein, Skåne, Halland and Blekinge.
Even if one of these border regions is rated as “quarantined”, residents will still be able to enter Denmark if they can show that they have tested negative for coronavirus 72 hours before entry.