Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has announced that most restrictions introduced to combat Covid-19 will be lifted from February 1.
“We are through the critical phase,” Frederiksen said at a press conference on Wednesday evening, after meeting with the Epidemic Committee in the Parliament.
“Today we can say that we are ready to step out of the shadow of corona. We can say goodbye to restrictions and hello to the life we knew before coronavirus,” she was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
As of next Tuesday, it will no longer be required to wear a mask when entering a supermarket or taking public transport, and customers in restaurants and bars will not have to present a corona passport unless the establishment specifically requests it.
Although the first month of 2022 saw record-breaking daily infection rates in the country, Frederiksen said that Wednesday’s decision meant “coronavirus should no longer be considered a socially critical disease.”
She added: “The high adherence to vaccines turned out to be … our super weapon, and it has given us a strong protection against the infection that is still in our society.”
However, the government will maintain testing and isolation requirements for certain people when entering Denmark, namely those who have not been vaccinated or previously infected.
The Prime Minister also emphasised that extra care should be taken around the elderly, vulnerable and chronically ill.
“Tonight, a very clear appeal from us is that we continue to show consideration for those who fear infection. Everyone should feel secure in an open Denmark.”
However, vulnerable groups across the country are concerned by the government’s decision, according to the patient association Asthma Allergy Denmark.
“The very rapid and unconditional reopening will have a major impact on many of the country’s vulnerable groups, including asthmatics and citizens with chronic diseases,” the association said. “They will suddenly have to navigate in a society where they cannot avoid coming into contact with infected citizens in the public space.”
The association called on the authorities to intensify awareness campaigns regarding vulnerable citizens.
In the past 24 hours, 46,747 new infections have been registered, and 21 new deaths, bringing the national totals to 1,531,518 cases and 3,656 deaths since the pandemic began.