WASHINGTON — Denmark, which has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world and one of the first to impose lockdowns, will reportedly end its domestic pandemic restrictions -- including its version of a coronavirus passport -- on Sept. 10. The nation's top health official has declared the virus is no longer a "critical threat to society."
Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke released a statement Friday saying “The epidemic is under control, we have record high vaccination rates. Therefore, on September 10, we can drop some of the special rules we have had to introduce in the fight against COVID-19.”
Denmark is the European Union's third-most vaccinated country at 71%, according to Our World in Data. Only Malta (80%) and Portugal (73%) are higher. While other nations, including the United States, have seen a new surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Denmark's numbers have fallen or stayed relatively steady over the past four months.
Although the 7-day rolling average puts Denmark in the top half of EU nations for new cases per million people, it is in the bottom half for confirmed COVID-19 deaths, hospital patients and second-to-last in ICU patients per million people.
For another comparison, Denmark had 3.44 ICU patients per million people Thursday. The U.S. had 74.71 per million in the ICU, according to Our World In Data.
A "coronavirus passport" or "coronapas" was launched on April 21 that required bars, theaters, hair salons, gyms and stadiums to only allow people who could prove they were fully vaccinated, had negative test results less than 72 hours old or who had contracted COVID in the previous two to 12 weeks, The Guardian reported.
That restriction reportedly will be dropped for most venues by Sept. 1 and be completely gone by Sept. 10. That said, Heunicke suggested restrictions could be re-imposed if the pandemic "threatens the essential functioning of society."
Forbes reports the changes will not affect the entry restrictions for international travelers. That's because those are controlled by a separate political agreement that doesn't expire until October.
For now, fully vaccinated Americans can enter Denmark for any reason. Those not fully vaccinated must show a negative test and take another test when they arrive.