Denmark has become one of the first European Union member nations to scrap most pandemic restrictions as the Scandinavian country no longer considers the COVID-19 outbreak “a socially critical disease.”
While the Omicron variant is surging in Denmark, it’s not placing a heavy burden on the health system and the country has a high vaccination rate, officials have said.
Denmark, a nation of 5.8 million, has in recent weeks seen more than 50,000 daily cases on average while the number of people in hospital intensive care units has dropped.
The head of the Danish Health Authority, Søren Brostrøm, told Danish broadcaster TV2 that his attention was on the number of people in ICUs, rather than on the number of infections. He said that number had “fallen and fallen and is incredibly low.”
He said there are currently 32 COVID-19 patients in ICUs, down from 80 several weeks ago.
The most visible restriction disappearing is the wearing of face masks, which are no longer mandatory on public transportation, shops and for standing clients in restaurant indoor areas.
Now, authorities only recommend mask use in hospitals, health care facilities and nursing homes.
Another restriction that no longer is required is the digital pass used to enter nightclubs, cafes, party buses and to be seated indoors in restaurants.
“I dare not say that it is a final goodbye to restrictions. We do not know what will happen to the fall. Whether there will be a new variant,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.
Health authorities urged Danes to get tested regularly to keep an epidemic surveillance and if needed, “react quickly if necessary,” as Health Minister Minister Magnus Heunicke said last week.