Denmark, on Friday, Sept. 10, announced the removal of its COVID-19 restrictions after finding that the virus was no longer a “critical threat to society.”
Becoming the first European country to resume pre-pandemic operations while other nations were still grappling with the Delta variant, Denmark decided to ditch all mask and distancing mandates, leaving only some restrictions for airports, according to The New York Times.
“This can only be done because we have come a long way with the vaccination rollout, have a strong epidemic control, and because the entire Danish population has made an enormous effort to get here,” health minister Magnus Heunicke said in a statement.
Although the virus had not been wholly eradicated from the country, Heunicke reassured that hospitals are now treating the virus as any other disease.
“Everyday life is pretty much the same and the freedom is there in range, but the good habits also have to be there,” he stated. “So, we still have a disease amongst us which is very contagious, but we also have some very very strong weapons: Vaccines, testing, and so forth in our society.”
Heunicke assured that the government would still react swiftly if the situation showed signs of negative manifestations.
Vaccination rates in the country have been significant. According to the New York Times, approximately 76% of the country’s eligible population had received one vaccination dose as of Saturday, and 73% had been fully immunized.
The New York Times noted that the country had been easing down its restriction over the week, but the Friday announcement also included the abandonment of vaccine passports.
But international travelers, in general, are required to show recent negative COVID-19 test results or a fully vaccinated document, and the country also has different requirements for people from separate regions.
The country provided a list of six countries from where visitors are banned from arriving unless they have been fully immunized, according to Schengenvisainfo. Those names include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei Darussalam, Serbia, and Japan.
Unvaccinated individuals from these countries might only be accepted in case of “absolutely essential purposes.”
They must have a valid PCR or fast antigen test result on hand. The fast antigen test result must be no more than 48 hours old, while the PCR test result must be no more than 72 hours old. But upon arrival, an additional COVID-19 test is still mandatory, and travelers must self-isolate for 10 days.