by Harry Wilmerding
Denmark announced Friday that all COVID-19 restrictions — in place for 548 days — have been lifted, the Associated Press reported.
The country’s 80% vaccination rate among residents over the age of 12 was the driving factor behind the decision, the AP reported.
Denmark has gradually reduced restrictions and is returning to normalcy. On Friday, proof of vaccination is no longer required when entering nightclubs, according to the AP, marking the last COVID-19 restriction to be removed.
After 548 days with restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19, Denmark's high vaccination rate has enabled the Scandinavian country to become one of the first European Union nations to lift all domestic restrictions. https://t.co/FhCgjR5kU2
— ABC News (@ABC) September 10, 2021
“I wouldn’t say it is too early. We have opened the door, but we have also said that we can close it if needed,” Soeren Riis Paludan, a professor of virology with the Aarhus University, told the AP.
The Danish government no longer considers COVID-19 “a socially critical disease,” according to the AP. Health Minister Magnus Heunicke on Aug. 27 said “the epidemic is under control,” but added that “we are not out of the epidemic” and that the government is willing to act if needed.
“The world is in the middle of a pandemic, and none of us can claim that we are beyond the pandemic,” Jens Lundgren, a professor of viral diseases at the Copenhagen University Hospital, told the AP.
Denmark lifted mask requirements on public transportation on Aug. 14, and on Sept. 1, nightclubs reopened, public gathering restrictions were lifted, and it was no longer required to show proof of vaccination at restaurants, soccer games, gyms, or hairdressers, according to the AP.
Masks will still be required at airports and are encouraged for those visiting a doctor, test centers, or hospitals, according to the AP.