With a 'corona pass', Denmark goes forward on Covid-19 exit

Customers at bar after a Covid-19 lockdown was partially lifted in Copenhagen, on April 23, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Denmark on Tuesday (May 4) announced new steps in its Covid-19 strategy to reopen society, with the spread of the virus deemed under control and its use of a "corona pass" certificate.

Cinemas and theatres had already been due to reopen on Thursday, and gyms and fitness centres have now been added to the list.

Bars, cafes and restaurants, which have already reopened, will no longer require reservations.

However, like at restaurants and hairdressers, all patrons must present a "corona pass" certificate confirming they have either tested negative in the past 72 hours, been vaccinated, or recently recovered from Covid-19.

Students at lower secondary schools will also return to their classrooms, joining primary and upper secondary students, who have already resumed in-class learning.

Under the plan negotiated late on Monday in Parliament, outdoor events will be allowed to welcome 2,000 people as of May 21, university students will return to classrooms on a part-time basis, and the limit for private gatherings will be raised to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.

For the European Championships in football in June and July, when Copenhagen will host four matches, the government will allow 16,000 fans to attend each match.

However, the Roskilde music festival, which normally draws crowds of more than 130,000, was allowed to welcome only 2,000 spectators and subsequently cancelled the event for the second year in a row.

Targeted closures

From Aug 1, 5,000 people will be allowed at outdoor events.

The exit plan may be subjected to local changes, such as targeted closures if the virus were to begin spreading more rapidly again.

"While the epidemiological situation in Denmark is stable, we note that many other countries are in the midst of a third wave and new closures, which we strongly hope to avoid," Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup said in a statement.

The Scandinavian country of 5.8 million has seen its case numbers fall to a quarter of what they were in December, when the country went into a partial lockdown with the closure of schools and non-essential businesses.

Denmark's vaccination campaign, which has been slowed by its decision to not use the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines over rare but serious side effects, is expected to be completed by late August.

So far, 11.5 per cent of Danes have been fully vaccinated and 23.4 per cent have received a first dose.

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