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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Italy cuts Covid isolation period as infection rate falls further

The isolation period for symptomatic Covid cases will be cut from seven days to five as Italy’s epidemiological situation improved again, according to an update from the health ministry on Wednesday.

Italy cuts Covid isolation period as infection rate falls further

The Italian health ministry signed off on a new set of Covid isolation rules on Wednesday after months of speculation about whether the isolation period in place all summer could be scrapped.

Under the update, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and shows symptoms must immediately self-isolate for five days instead of the previous seven, and must test negative – via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test – at the end of that period, as well as being asymptomatic for two days.

READ ALSO: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

Should the patient continue to test positive, they must remain in isolation until they get a negative test result. The maximum length of the isolation period was however cut to 14 days, down from 21.

Testing should be carried out at a registered pharmacy or testing centre. The results of home tests are not seen as valid for this purpose.

The isolation requirement applies to everyone including those who are fully vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid.

The changes came in a circular signed on Wednesday by the health ministry’s director of prevention, Gianni Rezza.

The circular, published on Thursday morning, said the rules had been relaxed “as a result of the cessation of the state of emergency” and based on health data analysis by Italy’s Higher Health Institute on August 24th.

The infection rate in Italy has been falling since mid-July.

The number of new infections recorded over the previous 24 hours on Wednesday was 21,817, with a test positivity rate of 13 percent.

Politicians from several parties criticised the decision to keep isolation rules in place, claiming this could affect voter turnout at elections on September 25th.

Italy’s outgoing health minister, Roberto Speranza, said this wasn’t an issue: “Just as with the last elections, there is the option of voting from home, as is done for the infirm,” he told news agency Ansa.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative on arrival, as long as they are fully boosted, were recently vaccinated, or have recently recovered from Covid.

Read more about getting tested while in Italy in a separate article here.

For more information about Italy’s Covid health regulations, see the health ministry’s website.