Denmark campaign calls for tolerance amid Covid differences

A new campaign by Denmark’s Health Authority asks members of the public to continue to be tolerant and protect each other from Covid-19, despite increasing differences of opinion in society.

Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm at a press briefing last month. Brostrøm has called for mutual understanding amongst the public amid evidence of increasing division over Covdi-19..
Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm at a press briefing last month. Brostrøm has called for mutual understanding amongst the public amid evidence of increasing division over Covdi-19..Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

The director of the Danish Health Authority, Søren Brostrøm, highlighted a phenomenon he termed “corona fatigue” (corona-træthed) as a source of increasing friction between members of the public over pandemic-related issues.

That fatigue should not be allowed to get a firm footing and prevent mutual understanding between people, Brostrøm said.

“We all deal with this corona fatigue differently but we must not let disagreements come between us,” Brostrøm said in a statement.

“There may be good reasons for some people to be more careful than others and, for example, keep a bit more distance. We should have respect for that and pay a little more consideration to the person in front of us in the queue or next to us on the bus. That’s how we’ll get through the winter together,” he said.

According to the authority, an increasing amount of discord is present in society relating to Covid issues such as social distancing, face mask rules and vaccination.

In its press statement, the authority cites Aarhus University’s HOPE project, which has monitored public attitudes and responses to the crisis since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Researchers involved in the project have found that patience and acceptance with others is wearing thin when it comes to the coronavirus, the health authority said.

Brostrøm said it was important to be able to live together “both during and after the pandemic”.

“It’s fine to make it clear if you are concerned about getting infected or want others not to come too close,” he said.

“We should be alert that we have each other’s lives and wellbeing in our hands, including during this epidemic,” he also said.

READ ALSO: What are Denmark’s current face mask rules?

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”