Reopening schedule: good news for schools, restaurants, malls and hairdressers; bad news for bars, gyms and travel

To fully enjoy everything society will be able to offer, the public will need to be able to show a corona pass

Outdoor dining will be able to return next month! (photo: VisitDenmark/Kim Wyon)
March 23rd, 2021 7:26 am| by Ben Hamilton

As promised, the government yesterday confirmed a reopening plan for Denmark just minutes before midnight. The plans, promised PM Mette Frederiksen, are pretty much in line with society fully reopening once everyone over the age of 50 has been vaccinated.

Following lengthy discussions involving almost every party in Parliament, the PM announced: “We agree that there is a very, very important holding point that everyone over the age of 50 should be vaccinated. However, this is based on assumptions that we can keep the infection rate down and start using a corona pass.”

The bottom line is that it looks like good news for education, face-to-face proprietorships, shopping centres and restaurants, but not so good for bars, gyms, travel, large events and the nightlife arena, as there are no goal-posts in sight.

Corona pass will be compulsory
There is one massive ‘but’, though. By April 6, the plans require a corona pass to be available, and the MyHealth app has been selected as the means of proving you have been vaccinated, had a negative corona test in the last 72 hours or been previously infected.

Should it be in place – a physical version will also be made available for those not of the digital age – face-to-face proprietorships such as hairdressers will be able to reopen on April 6 to those able to show it.

To address concerns that sensitive data will be contained on the app, an expiry date of August 2021 has been agreed – in line with V Day, the date by which the country should be fully vaccinated, which is currently July 25.  

On the same date, the day after the Easter holiday finishes, more young people will be able to return to their education: grades 5-8 (ages 11-15), gymnasium students (ages 16-19) and adult students at a 50 percent capacity – so every other week.

For the rest of the schedule, see factbox below.

Nye Borgerlige accuses government of abusing its power
Nye Borgerlige was the only party not to be part of the new agreement. Its leader Pernille Vermund said the plans were “absolutely crazy”, citing last year’s spring reopenings as proof that the corona pass is un-necessary.

“We opened the community last spring without having as many who were tested as today – without us having a vaccine plan, without a corona pass. But now they are introducing another means for the government to brandish power,” she said.

However, the government’s fiercest critic of late, Venstre leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, seemed satisfied.

“We would have liked to have seen a faster reopening. But it is important that we now get a perspective on what we can expect,” he commented.

Reopening schedule

– From April 6, more young people will be able to return to their education: grades 5-8 (ages 11-15), gymnasium students (ages 16-19) and adult students at a 50 percent capacity – so every other week. Some higher education students can return at 50 percent capacity, others at 20 percent capacity. Face-to-face proprietorships, such as hairdressers, will be able to reopen to those with a corona pass.

– From April 13, stores in small shopping centres will be able to open, providing the mall is less than 15,000 sqm in size. However, this won’t be possible in municipalities with high infection rates.

– From April 21, all shopping centres will be permitted to open, along with outdoor dining at restaurants and cafes (to those with corona passes), museums and libraries. Indoor sports for under-18s (with corona passes) will also get the green light.

– From May 6, indoor dining at restaurants (with corona passes) will be permitted. Likewise, cinemas, theatres, conference venues and other indoor venues will be able to (with corona passes) commence operations again. Adults will be able to resume indoor sports (with corona passes).

– From May 21, all other sports, leisure and association activities will be opened. Indoor facilities at zoos and playgrounds will also be able to reopen.