Denmark opens up for border shopping trips to northern Germany

Danes will from Saturday afternoon be able to stock up on cheap booze, tobacco, sweets and soft drinks at shopping centres on the German border, after the province of Schleswig-Holstein was ranked "yellow" in a new travel update.

Denmark opens up for border shopping trips to northern Germany
A shopper loads up on cheap soft drinks on the day borders were closed on March 14th last year. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

In a press release issued on Friday evening, the Danish foreign ministry said that the provinces of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Molise, and Sardinia in Italy, Burgenland in Austria, and Podkarpackie in Poland would all be ranked “yellow” from 4pm on Saturday.

This means that Danes who travel there will no longer need to self-isolate on their return to Denmark.

“As Germany allows cross-border travel and stays lasting less than 24 hours without special restrictions, this means shopping across the border will be possible again,” the ministry noted. “There will no longer be a requirement for isolation after entry back into Denmark from Schleswig-Holstein.”

It noted, however, that anyone staying longer than 24 hours in Germany would need to follow Germany restrictions, which in Schleswig-Holstein means showing a rapid coronavirus test no more than 48 hours old, or a PCR test no more than 72 hours old. 

Under Danish restrictions, those returning to Denmark from “yellow countries” should get tested after their return. 

Residents of Schleswig-Holstein (together with those from Skåne in Sweden) are already excused the requirement to self-isolate after arrival in Denmark. 

Sardinia is the latest in a long list of Mediterranean holiday islands which the ministry has classified as “yellow”, opening the way for isolation-free foreign holidays for Danish residents in the Balearics, Canaries, Azores, and in Malta. Portugal has also qualified for isolation-free travel. 


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Italy’s schools warned to ‘avoid gatherings’ as Covid cases rise

As Italy’s new school year began, masks and hand sanitiser were distributed in schools and staff were asked to prevent gatherings to help stem an increase in Covid infections.

Italy’s schools warned to ‘avoid gatherings’ as Covid cases rise

Pupils returned to school in many parts of Italy on Monday and authorities said they were distributing masks and hand sanitiser amid a post-summer increase in the number of recorded cases of Covid–19.

“The advice coming from principals, teachers and janitors is to avoid gatherings of students, especially in these first days of school,” Mario Rusconi, head of Italy’s Principals’ Association, told Rai news on Monday.

He added that local authorities in many areas were distributing masks and hand sanitizer to schools who had requested them.

“The use of personal protective equipment is recommended for teachers and students who are vulnerable,” he said, confirming that “use is not mandatory.”

A previous requirement for students to wear masks in the classroom was scrapped at the beginning of the last academic year.

Walter Ricciardi, former president of the Higher Health Institute (ISS), told Italy’s La Stampa newspaper on Monday that the return to school brings the risk of increased Covid infections.

Ricciardi described the health ministry’s current guidelines for schools as “insufficient” and said they were “based on politics rather than scientific criteria.”


Recorded cases of Covid have increased in most Italian regions over the past three weeks, along with rates of hospitalisation and admittance to intensive care, as much of the country returns to school and work following the summer holidays.

Altogether, Italy recorded 21,309 new cases in the last week, an increase of 44 percent compared to the 14,863 seen the week before.

While the World Health Organisation said in May that Covid was no longer a “global health emergency,” and doctors say currently circulating strains of the virus in Italy are not a cause for alarm, there are concerns about the impact on elderly and clinically vulnerable people with Italy’s autumn Covid booster campaign yet to begin.

“We have new variants that we are monitoring but none seem more worrying than usual,” stated Fabrizio Maggi, director of the Virology and Biosafety Laboratories Unit of the Lazzaro Spallanzani Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome

He said “vaccination coverage and hybrid immunity can only translate into a milder disease in young and healthy people,” but added that “vaccinating the elderly and vulnerable continues to be important.”

Updated vaccines protecting against both flu and Covid are expected to arrive in Italy at the beginning of October, and the vaccination campaign will begin at the end of October, Rai reported.

Amid the increase in new cases, Italy’s health ministry last week issued a circular mandating Covid testing on arrival at hospital for patients with symptoms.

Find more information about Italy’s current Covid-19 situation and vaccination campaign on the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).