Denmark is to lift all remaining pandemic restrictions in the next few days, despite rising reported infections, as Omicron hospital admissions and deaths remain stable and with high rates of vaccination – the first EU country to do so. Politico has more.
“Tonight we can … find the smile again. We have incredibly good news, we can now remove the last coronavirus restrictions in Denmark,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference, following recommendations from the Epidemic Commission and with all the main political parties’ support. The last restrictions will be dropped on February 1st.
The announcement comes as a new subvariant of Omicron, BA.2, is gaining a foothold in Denmark and driving infections up, with 46,000 new COVID-19 cases recorded on Wednesday.
“Recent weeks have seen very high infection rates, in fact the highest in the entire pandemic,” Frederiksen said. “Therefore, it may seem strange and paradoxical that we are now ready to let go of the restrictions.”
Health Minister Magnus Heunicke pointed to the decoupling of infections and serious disease, which he attributed to the high rates of vaccination – though this also happened in South Africa, where vaccination rates are much lower, so is presumably also due to the reduced virulence of the strain.
Ross Clark in the Spectator notes that as of February 1st COVID-19 will no longer be classified by the country as a ‘socially critical disease’ and the legal framework for the restrictions is also being lifted, removing the Government’s power to impose further measures without new legislation.
They beat you to it, Boris – time to get a wriggle on.
Worth reading in full.