Denmark lifts most COVID-19 restrictions despite record high daily infections
Danes can now go clubbing and do not need to wear masks.
Denmark lifted all its domestic COVID-19 restrictions on Feb 1 amidst an all-time high infection rate. It is the first country in the European Union to do so.
Gone are the days of masks, COVID-19 pass apps and limits on indoor gatherings. Nightclubs and other public venues have also reopened and resumed normal operating hours in the country.
This is despite Denmark having the second highest infection rate of any nation in the world. Its seven-day average of new infections over the last two weeks stands at more than 7,000, second only to Palau’s.
Danish authorities believe it is safe to remove restrictions as the country has a high vaccination rate and the virus no longer qualifies as a severe threat for vaccinated people.
More than 80 per cent of Denmark’s population is fully vaccinated and over 60 per cent have received a booster dose.
Søren Brostrøm, director-general of Denmark’s Health Authority, told CNN that there are currently around 30 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds, out of a population of 6 million.
Danish authorities still recommend taking an at-home test before coming into contact with vulnerable groups of people.
The lifting of restrictions follows similar moves by England, Scotland and Wales, which eased their restrictions to varying degrees in January. Other countries in the European Union, such as Ireland and France, have also begun to remove restrictions.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns nations against complacency and advises a gradual approach to the easing of restrictions.
“It is premature for any country to either surrender or to declare victory. This virus is dangerous, and it continues to evolve before our very eyes,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a media briefing on Feb 1.