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Summary, 29.05.2020 - The borders to Germany, Norway and Iceland opens in June. EU/UK maybe in Sept.

Updated: Jun 1


(Hi everyone. This is my own little explanation of how the decision to reopen the borders to only these countries can make sense from an objective point of view. I am not taking a stand on the decision, just explaining how it makes sense. I feel for all of you, who cannot see those you love!


Norway and Germany make up 42 % of the tourism in Denmark from foreigners, and 18 % of the total tourism in Denmark, from which Danes make up 56.5 %. These three groups make up 75 % of the total tourism (Source here, p. 12). As such, they allow 3/4 of the normal tourism to circulate around, plus more, since more Danes will be tourists in Denmark than normally while allowing entrance from countries with a similarly low infection as Denmark. Tourists from Poland, the Baltics, Southern Europe etc. simply don't put a lot of money in Denmark, and the more countries you open up for, the higher the risk of incoming infection.


It's a good old matter of cost-benefit, balancing the R-number and the money-flow.)


TODAY'S BULLETS

  1. The 15th of June will the borders be opened to Norway, Germany and Iceland for tourism, with restrictions.

  2. Owners of summerhouses or people who have sweethearts in Denmark entering from these countries will be allowed in. Tourists from these countries will also be allowed in if they have ordered six nights of stay – outside of Copenhagen.

  3. The government aims to reopen the borders to the rest of the EU/Schengen, as well as the UK, in September.

  4. The borders to Sweden and Finland might be reopened earlier, for Sweden likely with a regional solution with e.g. the Øresund-region.

  5. Trips into Copenhagen is allowed but spending the night within the borders of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg municipality will not be allowed, and will be checked when entering Denmark.

  6. Travelling to Denmark through Norway, Germany or Iceland as transit countries will result in being rejected at the border, e.g. for a Frenchman living in France.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during the press conference 29.05.2020 / Foto: liselotte sabroe © Scanpix

PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT THE REOPENING OF THE BORDERS

PRESENT

  • Prime Minister – Mette Frederiksen

  • Minister of Justice – Nick Hækkerup

  • Minister of Health and the Elderly – Magnus Heunicke

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs – Jeppe Kofod

BRIEF

  • The 15th of June will the borders be opened to Norway, Germany and Iceland for tourism, with restrictions.

  • Owners of summerhouses or people who have sweethearts in Denmark entering from these countries will be allowed in.

  • Tourists from these countries will also be allowed in if they have ordered six nights of stay – outside of Copenhagen.

  • They will have to document that they have booked a stay outside of Copenhagen for at least six stays, or have booked a summerhouse, camping spot or similar.

  • Trips into Copenhagen is allowed but spending the night within the borders of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg municipality will not be allowed, and will be checked when entering Denmark.

  • We want to find a solution with Sweden, perhaps a regional solution/Øresund

  • On the other side of the summer, we hope to open for the rest of the EU/Schengen as well as the UK and expect to open even quicker for Finland.

  • Travelling to Denmark through Norway, Germany or Iceland as transit countries will result in being rejected at the border, e.g. for a Frenchman living in France.

  • Travellers coming into Denmark will randomly be encouraged to take a test for coronavirus at the borders. The testing will not be mandatory, and the testing will not be available every day at the same locations.

SUMMARY

  • Denmark must reopen in a controlled fashion, so we avoid new shutdowns and restrictions.

  • We are still not on the other side of the corona-crisis. Therefore, we cannot do everything that we want to do. The infection can blow up again, and therefore we must do the reopening gradually.

  • There’s a risk of having to reimplement some restrictions, if a new wave of covid-19 emerges in Denmark. But the government is not operating with another shutdown like the 11th of March.

  • The health authorities are strongly encouraging people to enter 14 days of voluntary quarantine, if you are travelling outside of Denmark. There’s a huge responsibility for not bringing the virus back to Denmark.

  • The government finds the reopening of the borders justifiable, but it is very important that everyone – including the tourists – continue to respect and obey the guidelines on distance and proper hygiene.

  • The 15th of June will the borders be opened to Norway, Germany and Iceland for tourism, with restrictions.

  • Owners of summerhouses or people who have sweethearts in Denmark entering from these countries will be allowed in.

  • Tourists will also be allowed in, if they have ordered six nights of stay – outside of Copenhagen.

  • They will have to document that they have booked a stay outside of Copenhagen for at least six stays, or have booked a summerhouse, camping spot or similar.

  • Trips into Copenhagen is allowed but spending the night within the borders of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg municipality will not be allowed, and will be checked when entering Denmark.

  • We want to find a solution with Sweden, perhaps a regional solution/Øresund

  • On the other side of the summer, we hope to open for the rest of the EU/Schengen as well as the UK and expect to open even quicker for Finland.

  • Travelling to Denmark through Norway, Germany or Iceland as transit countries will result in being rejected at the border, e.g. for a Frenchman living in France.

  • Travellers coming into Denmark will randomly be encouraged to take a test for coronavirus at the borders.

  • Mobile test stations will be put up around the country where many people are gathered. It will also be possible for employees in shops, amusement parks, restaurants etc. to be tested.

  • This is to monitor the development of the pandemic and discover any new infection chains.

  • The testing will not be mandatory, and the testing will not be available every day at the same locations.

  • Foreigners entering Denmark will be given information about the Danish guidelines.

  • If a foreign tourist test positive, they will be part of the Danish Health Authority’s recommendations about self-isolation.

  • A foreigner wanting to enter Denmark showing clear signs of illness like dry cough, fever or similar will be rejected at the border.

  • The police will control people entering Denmark for whether they fulfil the requirements. If not, they will be rejected.

POLITICS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • A reopening of the borders is expected to increase the R-number in Denmark, as well as starting new infection chains, according to a new report from the SSI. They have though been making their calculations based on a scenario where Sweden is also included, which they aren’t as of now. The report here expects that around 400-1.500 people with asymptomatic coronavirus will arrive in Denmark.

  • The party leader of Venstre, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, doesn’t understand why Denmark doesn’t open up quicker for some tourists, as well as why the government has a requirement for at least six booked nights outside of Copenhagen: “I am missing a professional explanation for this. If there is one it is understandable, but it feels like the answer is blowing in the wind,” he says.

  • Danish Industry (Dansk Industri) is encouraging that an even further reopening of the borders happens as quickly as possible, in order to bring the Danish economy back on track: “The very cautious reopening to Germany, Norway and Iceland appears too cautious. We have a huge understanding for the importance of acting in a justifiable way from a health perspective, but it is important to make it clear, that such a careful reopening will have huge consequences for our society,” says the administrative director Lars Sandahl Sørensen.

  • The reopening of the borders, in its current form, will be a slow strangulation of the hotels and restaurants in Copenhagen, according to the interest organization for small and medium-sized companies SMVdanmark: “It is difficult to imagine that many of the tourists will move into Copenhagen from the typical locations around the country during the summer. We don’t understand that Germans, Norwegians and Icelanders, who have the same level of infection as Denmark, cannot spend the night in Copenhagen,” says Vice Director Jakob Brandt.

  • The Minister of Finance, Nicolai Wammen, has promised the municipalities that the state will cover their expenditures for dealing with the coronavirus, that will come as cleaning more often, purchasing protective equipment etc.

  • The Danish reopening of the borders is generally considered to be in line with the guidelines that have been on the way in the EU for a slow reopening of Europe, according to Lotte Mejlhede, a correspondent for TV2 in Brussels.

  • The economical agreement for 2021 between the Danish Regions and the government adds 3.1 billion kroner to the healthcare system to cover the bill for the corona-epidemic, according to the Ministry of Finance.

HEALTH-RELATED INFORMATION

  • 11.593 have tested positive, 81 more than yesterday (Expect large dark numbers since we haven't been testing everyone with symptoms from the start, ed.).

  • 106 are hospitalised with corona-virus, 4 fewer than yesterday.

  • Of those 106 are 18 in intensive care, 2 fewer than yesterday.

  • Of those 18 are 10 in respirators, 1 fewer than yesterday.

  • 568 Corona-infected residents in Denmark have died the same as yesterday.

  • 504.543 have been tested for corona-virus (+20.061) with 11.593 positives (2.30 % positives), a drop of 0.08 %-point from yesterday (We are testing more, so we are getting closer to the real percentage of infected people in the society)

  • 10.240 are reported as healthy again, after having been hospitalised with corona-virus, 60 more than yesterday.

  • It costs around 1 billion kroner to operate the white tents across the countries where people can get tested for coronavirus for 6 months. The medical company Novo Nordisk is contributing with 250 million kroner for the 16 test centres, meaning that 750 million kroner, or 100 million euro, is paid through the taxes. Venstre is criticizing the closedness around the entire process of the white tents, including finances and the decision to go through with them: “The government has run the entire process around Testcenter Danmark in a completely closed way. The white tents were raised almost without anyone being told anything,” says the political spokesman on health for Venstre, Martin Geertsen.

OTHER INFORMATION

  • The Danish GDP has dropped with 2.1 % in Q1, according to preliminary calculations from Statistics Denmark. Areas like personal transport, hotels, restaurants, public services, culture and consumption have been heavily influenced by the corona-outbreak.

  • The shut down of Denmark has given the largest increase in unemployment for the last 7 years, with 5.4 % at the end of April, or 152.800 unemployed.

  • The amusement parks Bakken north of Copenhagen and Tivoli Friheden in Aarhus reopened today, but with various changes compared to normally. The five wildest amusement rides in Bakken, including the old wooden roller coaster, have not reopened, and in Tivoli Friheden will only one party be allowed onboard the three largest rides. This is due to the guidelines for the reopening of amusement parks that came out Wednesday, saying that the wildest rides must generally be kept closed due to the increased risk of infection spread because of the screaming and yelling.



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