Denmark lifts COVID restrictions and opens many public places

HELSINKI (AP) — Denmark lifted a number of coronavirus restrictions and allowed some sites to reopen on Sunday despite the spread of the omicron variant in the country.

Cinemas, zoos, museums and theaters were among the places that could once again welcome visitors. A limited number of spectators were also allowed to attend indoor and outdoor sporting events.

Visitors are required to wear masks in most of these locations and provide proof that they have been vaccinated or have recovered or recently tested negative for COVID-19.

The government plans to further ease coronavirus restrictions in Denmark, a country of 5.8 million people, on January 31.

Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke told reporters earlier this week that the government was carefully monitoring the pandemic situation and “would not have supported the reopening if there had not been a clear approach to both from us and from outside experts”.

The omicron variant is less likely to cause severe disease than the previous delta variant, according to early studies. Omicron spreads more easily than other coronavirus strains and has already become dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects people who have been vaccinated or previously infected with earlier versions of the virus.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Wednesday that the lifting of restrictions was based on recommendations from the government’s own advisory group of health experts – the Epidemic Commission – and that her cabinet “intends to follow the recommendations” of the panel.

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