Denmark becomes first EU country to drop all domestic COVID restrictions

By Sebastian Hughes

Denmark lifted all domestic COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, becoming the first member of the European Union to do so, BBC News reported.

Case counts of the virus are still relatively high in Denmark, but officials have said the high vaccination rate in the country means that COVID-19 is no longer a “critical threat,” BBC News reported.

“We have an extremely high coverage of adults vaccinated with three doses,” epidemiologist Lone Simonsen of the University of Roskilde told the AFP news agency. “With Omicron not being a severe disease for the vaccinated, we believe it is reasonable to lift restrictions.”

With the restrictions rescinded, masks are no longer required to enter stores, restaurants or public transit, and limits on the number of people gathering indoors and mandatory social distancing measures have ended, BBC News reported. The national contact-tracing app also is no longer required, though individual event organizers can opt to make it a condition of entry.

Hospitals and care homes will still mandate the use of face masks in hospitals and care homes, and some restrictions remain for unvaccinated travelers attempting to cross Denmark’s borders, BBC News reported.

“Good morning to a completely open Denmark,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen wrote on Facebook, BBC News reported.

“No one can know what will happen next December. But we promised the citizens of Denmark that we will only have restrictions if they are truly necessary and we’ll lift them as soon as we can,” Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke told CNN on Monday. “That’s what’s happening right now.”

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Guz Alv
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