Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has announced that the European nation will end nearly all of its pandemic restrictions on February 1, despite other European countries extending restrictions.
“We say goodbye to the restrictions and welcome the life we knew before” the pandemic, Frederiksen said, according to the Associated Press. “As of Feb. 1, Denmark will be open.”
The prime minister also addressed the contrast between infection rates and the decision to return to pre-pandemic practices.
“It may seem strange that we want to remove restrictions given the high infection rates,” Frederiksen said. “But fewer people become seriously ill.”
Denmark has maintained strict requirements for mask-wearing on public transportation and in most indoor venues. Beginning next week, masks will only be required in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and homes for the elderly.
“According to Health Minister Magnus Heunicke, Denmark’s recent cases of COVID were more than 46,000 daily on average; however, only 40 people are in hospital intensive care units,” Newsweek reported.
Despite being among one of the first countries to shut down in early 2020, Denmark now stands apart as one of the first European nations to roll back restrictions.
Last week, the U.K. announced it was ending most of its pandemic restrictions as well. The Daily Wire reported:
Mandatory mask-wearing on public transportation and in stores, guidelines on working from home, as well as vaccine certifications will be ended next week. Johnson said that the rule making individuals prove recent recovery from a coronavirus infection or display a vaccine certificate to attend certain large events will stop, as well.
The Guardian reported, “The prime minister also told the Commons that the legal requirement on people with coronavirus to self-isolate would be allowed to lapse when the regulations expired on 24 March, and that date could be brought forward.”
Johnson also stated that students will no longer be required to wear masks at secondary schools.
“From tomorrow we will no longer require face masks in classrooms and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas,” Johnson told the Commons.
The two nations stand in strong contrast with other European nations that have extended COVID-19 restrictions.
In Austria, a new fine for the unvaccinated is set to begin.
“Austria’s lower house of parliament on Thursday approved a coronavirus vaccine mandate for all adults starting Feb. 1, with violators facing as much as $4,000 in fines,” The Washington Post reported last week.
Italy moved forward with a super vaccine pass starting January 10 that requires “proof of vaccination or recovery from a recent infection required to enter public transport, cafes, hotels, gyms and other popular venues.”
In November, Greece announced the first age-specific European mandate that requires citizens 60 years old and above to be vaccinated. Failure to do so includes a fine.
“Authorities said those who failed to comply from Jan. 16 would face a recurring monthly fine of 100 euros,” according to Reuters.
Greece also “barred unvaccinated people from indoor spaces including restaurants, cinemas, museums and gyms as daily COVID-19 cases hit record highs,” in November, according to the report.