COPENHAGEN, Denmark (PNN) - August 27, 2021 - Denmark will on September 10 stop classifying COVID-19 as an "illness which is a critical threat to society", meaning all remaining special pandemic restrictions will expire. In a press release issued on Friday morning, the country’s health minister Magnus Heunicke said that the high level of vaccination in Denmark, particularly among the vulnerable, had radically altered the risks posed by the virus.
“The epidemic is under control, we have record high vaccination rates,” he said in a statement. “As a result, on September 10 we can drop some of the special rules we have had to introduce in the fight against COVID-19.”
September 10 marks the expiry date for the executive order classifying COVID-19 as a “socially critical illness”, which was passed by the Danish Parliament’s Epidemic Committee on March 10 last year.
The political parties in the center-right blue bloc, led by the Liberal Party, have already said that they believe that COVID-19 should no longer be classed as a serious threat to society, and the health ministry’s announcement came less than an hour before the ruling Social Democrats were due to discuss the issue with the other political parties in the Epidemic Committee.
“When it sinks in for the Social Democrat government that they are in a minority, they then come up with better ideas just 45 minutes before the meeting in the Epidemic Committee is starting,” said Sophie Løhde, a member of the committee for the Liberal Party.
A number of restrictions are set to lapse on September 1, notably the requirement to show a valid coronapas to sit in restaurants and bars, and the ban on discos and nightclubs.
Friday’s announcement means that just ten days after nightclubs reopen on September 1, visitors will no longer have to show a coronapas, and it also means that from September 10, those going to watch a Superliga football match or attend an outdoor event with more than 2,000 people will no longer need a coronapas.
The change in the classification of COVID-19 will not, however, affect rules on travel into Denmark, which are governed by a separate inter-party agreement which is due to expire in October, a spokesman for the health ministry said.