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Coronavirus: Denmark turns away 149 travellers after closing border

149 people have been rejected at the border in southern Jutland since the borders closed on Saturday, according to South Jutland Police.

Coronavirus: Denmark turns away 149 travellers after closing border
A police officer controls a car driver at the Danish border in Moellehus, Denmark, on March 14, 2020: AFP
Denmark effectively closed its borders at midday on Saturday, in a move aimed at stemming the fight of the coronavirus. The borders will remain closed until April 13th, the government has said.

South Jutland Police tweeted on Sunday that they have checked 3748 people at the Danish-German border and rejected 149.

At border crossings in Southern Jutland, at airports, ports and other places where people travel from abroad, there are extensive border checks to ensure compliance with the restrictions.

Certain categories of people notably those who live and work in Denmark are still be able to enter. Travellers will be turned away if they can't show that they have a legitimate reason to be there, for example that they are Danish citizens or foreign nationals living and working in the country.

Expatriated Danish soldiers are not allowed to return to Denmark on leave until March 30th.

On Saturday, Copenhagen Police said that 13 people had been rejected at the Øresund bridge but there had been no refusals at Copenhagen airport.  

There has been some concern from the tourism industry over the sudden closure of the borders.

The CEO of Feriehusudlejernes Brancheforening (The Holiday Homes Rentals Association) has said the closure will mean German holidaymakers must cancel 1.4 million nights in holiday homes until mid April. 

Tønder's mayor Henrik Frandsen described the situation as deeply serious for the tourism and business of the town, which relies on those visiting from south of the border.

As of Saturday, Denmark has 827 confirmed cases of coronavirus and no deaths. According to the Worldometers website, this is the fourth highest per capita number of infections worldwide after Italy, Norway and South Korea. There are also nine confirmed cases in the Faroe Islands but no cases in Greenland.

Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed its travel advisory so that the entire world is classed as 'orange'. This means it now recommends against unnecessary travel to any other country.

Danish citizens currently abroad are encouraged to return to the country immediately. 

“If you are already abroad, you should return home as quickly as possible,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said at the press conference on Friday, stressing that this advice only applied to Danes travelling, and not those permanently resident abroad. 

At Friday's press conference, the government also announced that hospitals in the country would stop carrying out all normal medical procedures to concentrate on essential and emergency medical care and treating those infected with the virus. 

Danish public broadcaster DR have provided a list of which categories of people will be allowed to cross the border. 

They include: 

  • Danish citizens 
  • Those working or living in Denmark
  • Those delivering good to Denmark
  • Those collecting goods from Denmark 
  • Those with visitation rights to children in Denmark
  • Those visiting extremely sick family members in Denmark 
  • Other reasons for visiting will be assessed on a case by case business
  • Ordinary visits to family members will not be a sufficient reason to enter Denmark

 

 

Member comments

  1. As at 23.00 on 13 March the position is unclear. No advice from UK Foreign Office or British Airways , and hotel staff in Copenhagen are unable to confirm. The reports of travel bans ‘to and from’ after noon on 14 March seem to suggest tourists will be unable to leave for at least a month after then. Since it is unclear, we have booked a last minute flight out via Air France before the noon deadline, just to be sure.

  2. How are ‘visitation rights to children in Denmark’ defined? My wife works in Denmark and our daughter attends a Danish school (now disrupted, of course). None of us is a Danish citizen, and I live and and work in the UK. What kind of documents/evidence do I need to enter the country? Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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