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KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in February 2022?

Coronavirus restrictions and travel rules are among the changes which will affect life in Denmark in February.

Hailstones in Denmark in February 2020. The country will lift its Covid-19 restrictions in February 2022.
Hailstones in Denmark in February 2020. The country will lift its Covid-19 restrictions in February 2022. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

No Covid-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated persons

A small number of Covid-19 travel restrictions will be retained in February but these will not apply to people vaccinated against the virus.

People who can document vaccination with an EU approved vaccine, or who have been previously infected with Covid-19, will no longer have to take a test or quarantine on entering Denmark regardless of where in the world they are travelling from, the government recently announced.

For travel to Denmark from EU or Schengen countries, people who are neither vaccinated nor previously infected must take a test for Covid-19 no more than 24 hours following entry, or may alternatively take a test prior to travel.

Unvaccinated people with no infection history travelling from outside the EU and Schengen area are affected by different rules depending on whether they are travelling from what Denmark categorises a “risk” or “high risk” country.

Full details of how the rules will change can be found here.

Domestic restrictions to be lifted on February 1st

All domestic restrictions, including the use of a vaccine pass, mask-wearing and early closings for bars and restaurants, are to be lifted on February 1st.

A coronapas has been required since late last year at bars and restaurants among other settings, while face mask rules have been in place in stores, on public transport and in health and social care settings.

The decision was announced by the government last week despite high infection rates, with falling ICU patient numbers, high vaccine uptake and the milder Omicron variant forming the background of the decision.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s Covid-19 rules for close contacts and ‘other’ contacts

Restrictions on alcohol sales to end a few hours early

If you want to celebrate the end of restrictions with a late drink, it will be possible to do so the day before the change takes full effect.

With general Covid restrictions scheduled to be lifted on February 1st, the government has brought forward the end of the restrictions on bars by a few hours.

The decision was made to avoid a situation in which bars would have had to close at 11pm on January 31st, only to open again an hour later following the cut-off point for the outgoing restrictions.

Alcohol may also be sold after 10pm from January 31st, including in stores.

Covid-19 sick leave compensation could end

Increased sick days taken by staff at Danish companies, related to the country’s current high rate of Covid-19 infections and self-isolation rules, are currently eligible for special compensation under a deal reached by the government and the labour market late last year.

Under normal Danish sick leave rules, companies must pay up to the first 30 days of sick pay for staff. The current special provision allows companies to apply for reimbursement for this.

A criterion for the compensation is that the staff member in question is unable to work from home.

The agreement is set to expire on February 28th 2022. It will be reviewed close to this time to assess whether an extension is needed.

Return to ‘normal life’ in sight?

At the beginning of January, the head of department and senior consultant at the State Serum Institute (SSI), Tyra Grove Krause, said that she expected the current wave of Covid-19 infections in Denmark, driven by the dominant Omicron variant, to peak in coming weeks before drop in infections in February.

“Omicron will peak at the end of January, and February will see falling infection numbers and a reduction in strain on the health system. But we must make an effort in January, because it will be hard to get through,” she said in an interview.

“I think (Covid-19) will have the next two months and after that I hope that infections will begin to pare back and we will get our normal lives back,” she also said.

Although there is little sign of infection numbers flattening at the time of writing, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke of a return to “life as we knew it” after announcing the end of Covid restrictions last week.

“We are saying farewell to the restrictions and welcome to life as we knew it before corona,” Frederiksen told a press conference.

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For members


IN NUMBERS: How close is Denmark to becoming cash free?

Although app payments are commonplace in Denmark and almost all businesses accept debit cards, one in five people in the country still say they would find it difficult to be without cash.

IN NUMBERS: How close is Denmark to becoming cash free?

Some 20 percent of the Danish public say they would find it difficult to may everyday payments if cash was no longer in use, national agency Statistics Denmark found in a recent survey.

It should be noted that there are no immediate political plans to make Denmark cashless. But given the country’s position as one of the most digitalised societies in the EU, it is notable that such a high number still uses cash on such a regular basis.

Some 20 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 89 said they agreed with the statement “I would find it difficult to make payments if cash was abolished as a payment method”.

The figure comes from the agency’s annual publication on IT habits in the general Danish population.

“One in five say they would find it hard to get by without cash, our study shows. It might not be surprising that this is particularly among elderly people,” Statistics Denmark senior consultant Agnes Tassy said.

“Many people in the older age group also belong to the category we have chosen to call ‘digitally challenged’. In that group, 40 percent would find it hard to be without cash,” she said.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Is it better for tourists to use cash or card in Denmark?

The agency defines “digitally challenged” as people who say they cannot navigate the internet or install an app.

Among the remainder of the population, most people say they could manage without cash although 17 percent still said they would find it to be a problem.

As part of the study, the data agency also asked members of the public which payment methods they had used at least once during the last three months.

Here, 53 percent said they had used all three primary types: cash, payment app and payment card.

30 percent said they used the latter two types but not cash, while only 7 percent said they did not use a mobile app but did use cash and card. A similarly low number, 7 percent, said they only used a card and neither an app nor cash. Just 2 percent only use cash.

In the study, six out of ten said they had used cash at some point around the beginning of 2022, the period the questions in the survey relate to.

But even though one in five say they’d find it hard not to use cash at all, only 2 percent – equivalent to 90,000 people – use cash as their sole method of payment.

A very high proportion – 97 percent – said they used payment cards at the beginning of 2022. Around 84 percent used a mobile app to pay for an item or service.

READ ALSO: Dankort: What is Denmark’s payment card and how is it different from other card types?

Graphic: Statistics Denmark

Breaking those numbers down by age, as in the graphic above, the percent of card users remains high across age groups (grey line), as does the middling amount of people who use cash (blue line).

Mobile apps (green line) have a very high usage in younger age groups, before a drop of for people in their fifties and sixties and a nosedive in usage for the over-80s.

“Across all age groups, the little plastic card is payment form most people rely on. Between 73 percent and 85 percent used a card the most often in 2022. For the entire population, the case is that 8 out of 10 most often pay by card, while 14 percent most often use an app,” Tassy said.

The use of cash rises with age, with one in five over 80 using it most often but only 3 percent of people aged between 15 and 34.