Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Authorities in Denmark ease certain COVID-19-related restrictions from May 11 and 18. Other restrictions remain in place.
This alert affects Denmark
This alert began 07 May 2020 20:55 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Easing of restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: From May 11
- Impact: Travel and business disruptions remain
Danish authorities will ease certain restrictions introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from May 11 and 18. Officials will allow the entire retail sector to reopen from May 11. Additionally, professional sporting leagues will be allowed to resume, albeit with no spectators allowed. Amateur sports leagues can resume in cases where social distancing can be ensured and when there are no more than 10 people involved.
From May 18, cafes, restaurants, and taverns, as well as libraries and churches, will be allowed to reopen. Students in grades 6 to 10 will be allowed to return to school; municipalities and schools are given flexibility in how they will organize this.
Previously, authorities allowed for nurseries and primary schools for grades 0 to 5 to reopen, provided they can meet certain requirements as given by the Ministry of Health, including ensuring adequate space between individuals and rigorous cleaning regimes.
Restrictions that will remain in place are:
- The closure of all cultural, entertainment, and educational facilities not included in the eased restrictions mentioned above
- A ban on gatherings of more than 10 people
- Instructions for all noncritical public employees to work from home
Authorities have also extended the closure of all Denmark's borders through at least June 1. Officials will bar all non-nationals from entry; the rule does not apply to Danish passport holders, EU citizens holding a Danish social security card and third-country nationals with a Danish residency permit. Persons wishing to leave will be allowed to do so. Authorities will make exceptions for foreign nationals in some emergencies, such as attending a medical visit or persons in transit with onward travel documentation. The restriction does not apply to the movement of goods and will not impact supply chains. Authorities have suspended cruise ship travel.
All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or amendments in the coming days.
Background and Analysis
Denmark is one of the first European countries to begin scaling back restrictions introduced in response to the spread of COVID-19; authorities will monitor the situation closely and will likely revert restrictions quickly if the easing seems to accelerate the impact of the disease. The restrictions that remain in effect correspond with similar measures enacted by other regional governments in response to the spread of COVID 19. Regional governments are likely monitoring the situation in Denmark to inform their own policies regarding the gradual reduction of COVID-19 restrictions.
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.