Denmark has become the first EU country to announce the end of Covid-19 restrictions, with vaccine passports being abolished on 10 September.
With vaccination rates the third highest in the EU – over 80% of the e population over 12 years old have had two jabs, and hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid the second lowest per million of the population of EU countries – Denmark has said restrictions are now ‘unnecessary’.
“Denmark is lifting the restrictions because the vaccine rollout has been very successful,” said Jens Lundgren, Professor of Viral Diseases, Copenhagen University Hospital.
Denmark had introduced a ‘Coronapas’ on 21 Apri1 and venues were required to only allow entry to people who were fully vaccinated, had negative test results, or who had contracted Covid in the previous 2- 3 months.
Distancing is still recommended and strict entry restrictions apply for foreigners at the borders.
The Danish move was followed, 12 September by the UK government ditching plans for a roll-out of Covid passports from 1 October (Scotland is still to decide). “We shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it,” said health secretary Sajid Javid. The UK has a vaccination rate of 64%. The policy U-turn in England came following growing opposition from lawmakers and business about plans to introduce Covid passports for events such as those required in other European countries, like France.
The hospitality industry welcomed the government’s decision, saying it would make it possible to move forward.
“We hope that businesses will now be able to plan for the future with some degree of certainty, regain confidence from customers and the workforce, and start to rebuild a sector that has consistently been at the sharp end of this pandemic,” said Michael Kill, chief executive of the UK’s Night Time Industries Association.