Denmark extends current restrictions and travel bans until April 20th

The Danish government has announced that it will extend its current entry restrictions and travel ban until at least April 20th.

Covid restrictions
Image: Fernando zhiminaicela / Pixabay

This comes amid concerns of a third Covid-19 wave across much of Europe. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the extension of these restrictions means that business travel and holidays abroad are still not encouraged. 

The Ministry continued to clarify the restrictions by saying: “There are some exceptions. For example, travel in connection with the delivery of goods and services in and out of the country”.

Sweden is set to reopen its borders with Denmark on March 31st, but the Danish government is still discouraging its citizens from visiting the neighbouring country. Border restrictions with Germany will also remain in place until this date.

The government has said that current restrictions for arrivals from outside the Denmark, which were set to finish on April 5th, will also be extended until at least April 20th. 

This includes a flight ban on anyone unable to present a negative Covid-19 test and a 10-day mandatory quarantine period.

Even before the current extension, the country’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod emphasized that an Easter holiday abroad “unfortunately is not an option”.

European countries such as France, Italy, and Germany are currently going through a third Covid wave, and Denmark hopes that these travel bans will help keep the country from following in their footsteps.

“Denmark is in a better situation than most of Europe. The government will cherish this. Continued restriction of travel activity is an essential element of the effort to control the spread of infection,” the Ministry said.

The government also said that is still working on introducing its Coronapass, its version of a vaccine passport, which it announced back in February.

At the time, acting finance minister Morten Bødskov said: “It will be an extra pass you can have on your mobile phone, which documents you have been vaccinated”.

While Lars Sandahl Sørensen, CEO of the Confederation Danish Industry said: “By using the digital head start we have, we can allow travel and participation in cultural life in Denmark. We will benefit from the corona passport for many years”.

READ ALSO: Denmark to introduce ‘digital passport’ to document Covid-19 vaccination

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Denmark’s infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

Travellers from China should not need a negative Covid-19 test when arriving in Denmark, the national infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute recommended on Saturday, in an assessment sent to the Ministry of Health.

Denmark's infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

In the assessment by the State Serum Institute (SSI), it was noted that there aren’t expected to be a large number of arrivals coming directly from China and that any tests would have a marginal affect on Danish epidemic control.

However SSI wrote that it was still important to keep an eye on new variants of Covid-19 and suggested that a sample of voluntary-based PCR tests could be introduced for travellers from China.

The assessment was requested by Denmark’s health minister Sophie Løhde, following a recommendation on Wednesday by European Union experts to tighten travel rules.

Infection rates in China are high after it abolished its ‘zero Covid’ policy in late 2022, although no precise numbers are available.

Several European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and the UK, had already introduced testing requirements, while Sweden on Thursday announced a similar step, as did Germany, with an added announcement on Saturday to discourage non-essential travel from Germany to China.

The United States, Canada, India, South Korea and Taiwan have also put testing rules in place.

Health minister Sophie Løhde also asked SSI to assess testing waste water from aircraft landed from China. SSI responded that there is limited experience in this.

SSI currently analyses samples from shared toilet tanks at four airports twice a week – Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg and Billund. The method would have to be changed in order to detect new Covid-19 variants, which would take up to four weeks to implement, according to the assessment.

Løhde has informed the parliamentary parties about the assessment and has asked the Epidemic Commission for an advisory assessment, she said in a press release. Once this is done, the recommendations will be discussed.