Denmark’s new reopening plan: Here’s what changes on May 21st

A parliamentary majority has agreed to allow all indoor businesses in Denmark, with the exception of nightclubs, to open from this Friday.

Denmark's new reopening plan: Here's what changes on May 21st
The vast majority of business and education will be open in Denmark as of May 21st. Filephoto:Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

That means all sports and cultural facilities yet to open under the previous plan to lift restrictions will be allowed to return to business this week. These include the likes of saunas and baths. Education including universities will also fully reopen.

As such, businesses and education will essentially open fully from this Friday, with the exception of nightclubs and discotheques.

A plan has meanwhile been presented to phase out working from home, face masks and corona passports in the longer term. We’ll have more on this in a separate article.

A text outlining the agreement was published by the Ministry of Justice.

READ ALSO: Denmark to fully reopen almost all schools and businesses this week

Here’s a closer look at what is set to change.


A number of sports and leisure activities still currently under some form of restriction will find themselves able to open from Friday, including those which take place under the auspices of clubs and associations.

All of these have been given permission to reopen in the latest plan, although corona passport rules will still apply.

Some examples of leisure activities which can now look forward to an imminent return are saunas and baths, community centres and activity centres.

Music schools can also now return to normal activity.

Universities and higher education

Higher education can now return at 100 percent capacity on May 21st. The previous version of the reopening plan only allowed universities to open for 50 percent of students on that date.

All other adult education institutions, which have been allowed to reopen to varying extents, can now also return to normal capacity. Corona passports remain a requirement for students.

Part-time courses at institutions such as the Folkeuniversitet (People’s University) can also return to normal (with corona passports).

Inside areas at theme parks and zoos

Attractions such as Copenhagen Zoo or the Tivoli amusement park were allowed to open their outdoors sections earlier in the year, but have had to keep indoor areas shut off. That will change on Friday, provided guests have a corona passport.

This also means that aquariums, children’s play centres and all other primarily indoor attractions can open.

Working from home to be phased out

Many people who work in the public and private centres have spent what seems like endless months working from home, with the government mandating employers provide for this wherever possible since earlier in the pandemic.

A return to offices and shared workspaces is to occur in three steps, according to Monday night’s agreement.

In the first phase, which begins on Friday, 20 percent capacity will be allowed while remaining staff must continue to work from home where possible. The proportion will increase to 50 percent on June 14th and 100 percent on August 1st.

Public assembly

The public assembly limit is scheduled to increase on Friday from 25 to 50 persons indoors and from 75 to 100 persons outdoors. That is in keeping with the existing plan for reopening.

What doesn’t change?

Nightclubs and discotheques are alone as businesses not allowed to reopen by the updated plan, while the schedule for lifting assembly limits remains unchanged. Recently-released rules for large-scale events are not covered by the agreement. Travel restrictions are also separate.

Under current rules, cafes, bars and restaurants must stop service at 10pm and establishments must be closed from 11pm until 5am.

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EXPLAINED: Has Italy still got any Covid rules in place?

Italy is blissfully free of Covid restrictions this summer - or is it? Here's what you need to know about the country's few remaining rules.

EXPLAINED: Has Italy still got any Covid rules in place?

If you thought Italy’s Covid rules ought to have more or less expired by now, you’d be right – almost. 

There are essentially no travel restrictions, no vaccination or testing obligations, and very few situations in which people are required to mask up.

However, a few nationwide health rules do remain in place that are worth knowing about.

Here’s what they are.


One notable exception to Italy’s Covid rule relaxations is the continued requirement to wear a mask in parts of health and residential care facilities that house vulnerable or immunosuppressed patients.

This rule had been due to expire on April 30th, but was renewed by decree on April 29th and will remain in place until the end of the year.

READ ALSO: What to expect when travelling to Italy in summer 2023

That means if you work in such a facility or need to visit a friend or family member there, you should come equipped with a mask.

Under-6’s, people whose disability prevents them from wearing a mask, and carers for whom wearing a mask would prevent them from communicating with a disabled patient are the only exceptions.


Then there are the quarantine rules.

‘Italy still has quarantine rules?!’ you ask incredulously.

According to former health director Giovanni Rezza, who retired this May, the answer is yes.

It was Rezza who signed off on a health ministry decree dated December 31st, 2022 that established the country’s latest quarantine restrictions.

Tourists visiting Italy no longer face Covid-related restrictions, though rules may apply in some circumstances. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

That decree says that those who test positive but are asymptomatic must self-isolate for five days, or until they test negative at a pharmacy or health facility – whichever happens sooner.

Those who do experience symptoms should either test negative before exiting quarantine, or wait until they are symptomless for at least two days.

At the end of the isolation period, those who have left quarantine without taking a test are required to wear a high-grade FFP2 mask in public until the tenth day since the onset of symptoms or first positive test result.

READ ALSO: What are the upcoming strikes in Italy and how could they impact you?

People who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid should wear an FFP2 mask in public until the fifth day since the last point of contact.

Earlier this month, Rezza told journalists at the national broadcaster Rai that since no expiration date was stipulated, the decree remains in force indefinitely.

The health ministry doesn’t appear to have weighed in on the matter, so for now it should be assumed that the quarantine rules are still active.

Of course, this all relies on the honour system, as most Covid tests these days are taken (if at all) in people’s own homes without the knowledge or involvement of state health authorities.


Finally, there have been some recent reports of new international travel restrictions specifically relating to China.

There has been talk of Italy’s airports reintroducing tests for arrivals from China. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP.

Towards the end of May, newspapers La Stampa and La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno reported that Covid tests had been reintroduced at Italy’s airports for arrivals from China, which has seen an uptick in cases.

However, neither the health ministry website nor the Foreign Ministry’s Viaggiare Sicuri (‘Travel Safe’) website appear to have published any updates to this effect.

In December 2022, Italy’s health ministry mandated that all arrivals from China must produce a recent negative test result before leaving for Italy and to take a test on arrival, though this rule was due to expire at the end of January.