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Denmark tightens rules on travel from border regions

The Ministry of Justice has announced that it will introduce stricter rules on travel from regions bordering Denmark.

Denmark tightens rules on travel from border regions
File photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix

The decision has been taken due to concerns over the risk of spread of the more infectious B1351 variant of Covid-19, the ministry said in a statement.

Residents in border regions have faced more flexible entry requirements than others to ease movement in and out of the country for work, business, study or private matters.

READ ALSO: These are Denmark's current Covid-19 travel restrictions

But authorities now believe there is an increased risk of spread of the B1531 variant, which was first detected in South Africa, via border areas.

As such, people entering Denmark from Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) and Skåne, Halland, Västra Götaland and Blekinge (Sweden) must have a ‘valid' reason for travel and a negative Covid-19 test taken with the last 72 hours. Previously, a test up to a week old was allowed.

The new requirement will take effect from Wednesday February 17th.

In addition to the requirement for a recent, negative Covid-19 test, people travelling into Denmark from abroad are required to take a new Covid-19 test within 24 hours of arrival and to self-quarantine for ten days, according to the current travel restrictions, which have been in place since February 7th.

However, exemptions to the entry test and quarantine requirements apply for people who live in Denmark but work or provide services in border regions, or visit loved ones there.

These exemptions remain in place after February 17th but will now require a negative test less than 72 hours old on entry (changed from the previous 7 days). 

“It is important that people who live and work in the border regions can cross the borders and the government understands this. But it is also important to protect Denmark against virus variants that can create greater uncertainty in the epidemic. That’s why it is necessary to tighten the requirements for testing for people who move around the border areas,” health minister Magnus Heunicke said in the statement.

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COVID-19

Did Sweden’s state epidemiologist really get a big job at the WHO?

For his supporters, it was well-deserved, for his detractors a case of failing upwards. But when Sweden's Public Health Agency announced this month that state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell was taking a job at the World Health Organisation, both sides assumed it was true.

Did Sweden's state epidemiologist really get a big job at the WHO?

Now, it seems, the job might not be there after all. 

At the start of this month, Sweden’s Public Health Agency announced that Anders Tegnell was resigning to take up a post coordinating vaccine work with the World Health Organisation in Geneva. 

“I’ve worked with vaccines for 30 years and have at the same time always been inspired by international issues,” Tegnell said in the release. “Now I will have the chance to contribute to this comprehensive international work.”

During the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tegnell shot immediately from obscurity into the spotlight, gaining such celebrity status in Sweden that one fan had his profile tattooed onto his arm.

Internationally he was hailed by lockdown sceptics for his reasoned arguments against overly restrictive measures to control the spread of the virus. 

His new WHO appointment was reported all over the world. 

But on Tuesday, the Svenska Daglabdet newspaper revealed that the job had not yet been awarded. A spokesperson for the WHO said at a press conference in Geneva that “there is some confusion”, and that “this is an internal question.” 

According to the newspaper, there is even “a certain level of irritation” behind the scenes at the WHO that Sweden acted too soon and dispatched Tegnell to a job that did not actually exist yet. 

“We have received an offer from Sweden, which is still under discussion,” the organisation’s press spokesperson, Fadela Chaib, told the newspaper. 

On Thursday, the Public Health Agency’s press chief Christer Janson conceded that there had been a mistake and that the negotiation had not been completed.  

“We believed it was done, but it wasn’t,” he told Expressen in an interview. “It’s been a much longer process to get this completed than we thought. There’s been a misunderstanding and we regret that.” 

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