Denmark lifts all virus restrictions from Feb 2022: Says Covid is no longer a threat to society

Denmark is the first European Union country to lift all domestic Covid-19 restrictions, including the use of face masks. The Scandinavian country no longer considers Covid-19 “a socially critical disease”.

“We say goodbye to the restrictions and welcome the life we knew before” the pandemic, Frederiksen said. “As of Feb. 1, Denmark will be open.”

Late-night sales of alcohol have resumed and night clubs have reopened. The local Danish coronavirus app is also no longer needed in order to enter into venues. Despite of the increasing cases, the country has decided to lift all the restrictions in an attempt to go back to normal life. That is due to the country's high vaccination rate, experts say.

Other European countries took a variety of approaches, with some easing virus restrictions while others tightening them.

Officials believe the Danish approach is motivated by the fact that, while the omicron variant is on the rise in the country, it is not putting a strain on the health system, and Denmark has a high vaccination rate. In Denmark, more than 80% of the population over the age of 5 has been vaccinated with both doses with 60% of the population been given the third booster dose.

Denmark, a country of 5.8 million people, has witnessed more than 50,000 new cases each day in recent weeks, but the proportion of Covid-19 patients in hospital ICUs has decreased. “The pandemic is still here but with what we know, we now dare to believe that we are through the critical phase,” Frederiksen said, calling the development “a milestone.”

Denmark's decision to reclassify the virus substantially advances a viewpoint that has lately arisen throughout Europe: it's time to start thinking about Covid as an endemic rather than a pandemic.

Some other nations were moving in the same direction as Denmark. 

England abolished practically all domestic restrictions last week: masks are no longer necessary everywhere, immunization permits are no longer required for any place, and individuals are no longer encouraged to work from home. After a positive Covid test, the sole legal necessity is to self-isolate.

Ireland has relaxed most of its prohibitions, and the Netherlands has eased its limitations as well, but Dutch pubs and restaurants must still close at 10 PM.

France is also planning to lift some restrictions, even though it is still reporting the continent’s highest cases. It plans on changing notably outdoor mask rules in Paris, a part-time work-from-home order, and limits on crowd sizes. However, face masks are still mandatory in indoor places, night clubs are closed, and no eating or drinking is allowed in cinemas or in public transport.

Italy, on the other hand, has been tightening its restrictions during the omicron surge. Italy requires at least a negative test within the previous 48 hours to enter banks and post offices, and anyone over 50 who has not been vaccinated risks a one-time 100-euro ($112) fine.

In Denmark, Some rare restrictions will remain in place - for example, for unvaccinated travelers attempting to cross the border from outside Denmark's free travel zone, or the use of face masks in hospitals and care homes.