Starting from midnight on September 10, the deadly virus is no longer classified as a “socially critical disease” by the Danish government, meaning no special measures will be applied to deal with Covid-19 in the European country. All restrictions previously enforced by authorities, including ‘coronapass’ requirements to enter night clubs and other venues, a ban on mass gatherings and obligatory mask-wearing, have been lifted, 548 days after Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen initially declared a lockdown in his country, local media reports. In March 2020, Denmark was among the first nations to enforce harsh measures to fight coronavirus.
Having first announced the decision to abandon the legal basis for restrictions last month, Danish authorities said “the epidemic is under control.” They reserved the right to reinforce special measures “if the pandemic again threatens important functions in society.”
According to Denmark’s health officials, “record high vaccination rates” helped the country set a precedent in the European Union and return to life with no Covid-related restrictions whatsoever. Three out of four Danish citizens consider vaccination against the virus a civic duty, according to a Eurobarometer survey conducted last month on behalf of the European Parliament.
Out of 1,000 representatively selected Danes, 43% completely agreed to the statement that everyone should be vaccinated, while 31% said they tend to agree. For the whole of the EU, the percentage of people who completely or predominantly agree to the statement stands at 66, Denmark’s Ekstra Bladet newspaper reported on Friday.
“Throughout the pandemic, Denmark has had higher acceptance than many comparable countries,” Professor Michael Bang Petersen, who advised the Danish government on the subject, wrote on Twitter, adding that “no mandates [were] needed.” An “incredibly high and completely stable” trust in the authorities’ management of the pandemic is behind the vast vaccine acceptance in the country, Petersen wrote. He also suggested that lifting of the restrictions became possible thanks to collective action, after the government “formulated distancing as a moral project, which gained high public support.”
By September, over 73% of Denmark’s 5.8 million population had been fully vaccinated, with more than 8.6 million anti-Covid doses administered in total. Throughout the pandemic, the EU country registered more than 352,000 cases of the virus.