Denmark is now the first country in the European Union to lift all of their remaining Covid restrictions despite an increase in the new sub-variant of Omicron that has been emerging recently.
As of today, all of Denmark’s domestic Covid restrictions will end, such as limits to indoor gatherings, the use of facemasks and Covid passports.
Unvaccinated travellers from non-Schengen countries will still be required to take Covid tests 24 hours after entry to the country.
Whilst cases in Denmark remain high, Dr Camilla Holten – Moller from the Staten Serum Institut said that the Covid situation in Denmark should no longer be seen as critical.
She added: “With Omicron, we simply don’t need any more to flatten the curve as much as we used to.
“I definitely believe that SARS-Cov-2 will continue circulating during the summer period as well, and in winter, we will start to see case counts going up again simply because we have the waning immunity of the vaccine.
“But for now, I think with the Omicron, we’re in a good place — we expect the springtime and summertime will be pretty quiet.”
With Covid restrictions being lifted, cases in the country have risen rapidly over the last month due to the new sub-variant of Omicron – BA.2.
The 21st of December saw Denmark report 12,487 cases however infections did not peak until the 29th of January this year at 41,083.
On September 10th the Danish government tried lifting restrictions however they were forced to reintroduce some early in November, with museums and hospitality closed before Christmas.
The country has said that restrictions are being lifted due to their extraordinarily high vaccine uptake, which is more than 80% for two doses and 60 per cent for booster jabs.
Despite this, new studies in Denmark suggest that the sub-variant of Omicron is more transmissible and more likely to cause breakthrough infections in those already vaccinated.
The recent study conducted by researchers at the Staten Serum Institut, Copen Hagen University, Technical University of Denmark and Statistics Denmark analysed 8,500 households in the country.
The study has not been peer-reviewed but suggested that individuals who have been exposed to the Omicron sub-variant were 39 per cent more likely to be infected within seven days compared to the dominant BA.1 strain, which is 29 per cent.
Researchers from the study concluded that –
“We conclude that Omicron BA.2 is inherently substantially more transmissible than BA.1, and that it also possesses immune-evasive properties that further reduce the protective effect of vaccination against infection.”