- Omar Khorshed
Denmark: A COVID regulation-free country
It would come as a heavy shock to many people discovering that the European country, Denmark, has lifted all safety regulations in regards to COVID-19. Masks, restrictions in restaurants and bars, and the legal obligation to self-isolate. Many may wonder why this country has made such a drastic change in dire times and who authorised this? The culprit was Magnus Heunicke, the Danish Health Minister. He informed CNN: “We have promised the citizens of Denmark that we will only have COVID restrictions if they are truly necessary and we’ll lift them as soon as we can. That's what's happening right now.” Experts also comment that this change is due to the high vaccination rates in Denmark.
This colossal shift has marked Denmark as the first country in the European union to lift all restrictions and regulations. Yet, according to world data statistics, Denmark’s COVID infection-rate is at its second highest in any nation of the world. Heunicke stated that the vaccinations have shown promising results in Denmark, as they have led to positive and vital changes in statistics, including a reduction in the number of patients placed in intensive care units across Danish hospitals, “thanks to vaccinations” stated Heunicke. Speaking of vaccinations, 81% of Danish citizens have been vaccinated and that seems to have been enough for Heunicke as vaccinations are no longer mandatory.
Soren Brostron, the director general of Denmark’s health authority appears to be in agreement with Heunicke telling CNN that “the link between infections and severe illness had been broken”. Furthermore, Brostrom states “I do not believe in imposed vaccine mandates, it’s a pharmaceutical intervention with possible side effects. You need an authority to recognize that. I think if you push too much, you will have a reaction - action generates reaction, especially with vaccines.”.
Having said that, Danish authorities remain aware of the potential dangers of COVID. They continue to recommend taking at-home COVID tests (rapid antigen tests) before surrounding oneself around large masses of people and visiting gatherings whilst PCR tests are still available to the public. Regulations in regards to travel remain present, as travellers from high risk countries are still required to quarantine. It is important to note these pandemic restrictions which still do remain.
It is interesting to see how the lack of restrictions in Denmark will affect the still very present COVID situation. There is a very large chance that the removal of these restrictions can backfire on Denmark. No restrictions will result in many social gatherings in which masks would be exempt. This can result in many cases erupting throughout the country which may lead again to these restrictions returning. It may also be interesting to see what impression is given to the citizens of Denmark. This may give people the false impression that COVID is no longer a threat and that the virus is ending which is evidently not the case.