Danes gathered outside a nightclub in Copenhagen even though it was almost midnight on September 2 – Photo: AFP
According to AFP news agency, in March 2021, the Danish government began to relax anti-epidemic measures in parallel with requiring people to have a vaccine green card to participate in some social activities.
By the beginning of this September, the vaccine green card requirement has been lifted in most places and sectors, except for nightclubs and bars. On September 10, the requirement to prove vaccination status in nightclubs was officially abolished.
With no restrictions on distance and vaccination status, many Danes are excited to participate in mass activities. A music event with a scale of more than 50,000 people scheduled to take place on September 11 sold out tickets not long after opening for sale.
Ulrik Orum-Petersen, an employee of event organization Live Nation, told AFP: “We are definitely at the forefront in Denmark because we have no limits. Our country is now on the other side of the river. pandemic thanks to the implementation of vaccination”.
Indeed, the company Live Nation knows how to do business when organizing an outdoor festival of 15,000 people on September 4. The event was named “Back to Live” as to mark the return of normal life before the pandemic to Denmark, including not needing to wear a mask.
“I joined the crowd, shouting like before the pandemic. It made me almost forget about COVID-19 and all that we’ve been through these past months,” 26-year-old Emilie Bendix told AFP.
Fans of the Danish men’s football team gather to eat and drink before the match between Denmark and Israel on September 7 – Photo: AFP
Denmark’s vaccination campaign has been swift, with 73% of the 5.8 million population and 96% of people aged 65 and over fully immunized.
“Now the virus is no longer a threat to Danish society, thanks to a vaccine,” said epidemiologist Lone Simonsen of Roskilde University.
“We’re aiming for free movement. What’s going to happen next is the virus is still in the community, but it’s going to people who don’t get vaccinated,” said Mr. Simonsen.
With about 500 daily COVID-19 cases and an infection rate of 0.7, Danish authorities claim to have the pandemic under control.
Despite lifting the restrictions, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke still warned the government would re-impose restrictions if necessary.
According to the World Health Organization, Denmark’s success in containing the epidemic is due to the public’s compliance with government guidelines and a clear COVID-19 strategy. However, the organization also noted that countries should closely monitor the situation because the virus is always changing.
Denmark said it will closely monitor the number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases and conduct genetic sequencing to understand infection trends. There are currently only 130 hospitalized cases of COVID-19 in Denmark.
The Scandinavian country has also started a campaign of booster shots for high-risk groups to limit deaths.
According to AFP, visitors to Denmark must still present a vaccine passport or a negative PCR test result. Masks are mandatory at Danish airports.