Expert recommendations signal a death knell for Roskilde, while much will depend on how quickly the over-50s are vaccinated

Can Denmark get back on track and save our summer? Much will depend on whether the government chooses to approve the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which won approval to resume in the US yesterday

A government-appointed expert group – the public would be forgiven for holding their breath, as the last one predicted hospitals could have over 900 patients by mid-April (currently there are 190) – have placed a 10,000 ceiling on gatherings for events once everybody over the age of 50 has received at least one corona vaccination jab.

This spells immediate bad news for the likes of the Roskilde Festival, which had been hoping it could go ahead providing guests showed the necessary corona passes at the perimeter.

Expert group says “No” though.

Vaccination quagmire
Besides, nobody knows for sure by when all the over-50s will have received their first jab. 

Yesterday’s news that Johnson & Johnson vaccinations can resume in the US, providing women aged 18-48 exercise caution (it’s rumoured previous deaths might be linked to the contraceptive pill), might mean nothing to Denmark.

Denmark could choose to become the first country to scrap J&J, following on from its unprecedented decision to permanently discard AstraZeneca.

At present, just 17 percent of people in their 70s are fully vaccinated, let alone people in their 50s, for whom the figure is percent, although 14 percent have had at least one jab. 

The Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority’s calendar predicts all over-50s will receive at least one jab by mid-May and be fully vaccinated by the end of June.

But does this look far-fetched given that no deadlines have stayed in place for longer a week recently. 

Boost for Euro 2020 games
Should the country be able to move on to the next phase of the reopening, the expert group recommends a ceiling of 10,000 for festivals and events, providing there is a perimeter and corona passes are shown.

Now, you might presume this means 10,000 people can watch a concert, but you’d be wrong. The experts would prefer a limit of 2,000 per group of people, and they have also absolutely ruled out camping.

For the four Euro 2020 games it is better news, as the experts believe Parken Stadium can more effectively split people into sections – and, unlike at the festivals, the spectators are all sitting down.

The group proposes a ceiling of 15,900 spectators per game at Parken. A ceiling of 11-12,000 spectators had previously been guaranteed by the Culture Ministry.

Chink of light
The Blue Bloc parties are surprised, to say the least, and they are expected to raise some hefty objections when the matter is debated in Parliament next week.

The recommendations will ultimately need a political majority, and the vote is expected to take place before Friday.

If there is one chink of light, it is the promise that events will be able to take place without restrictions once the entire country has had at least one jab, which is scheduled to take place by the end of June.

Yesterday, the Danish organisers of the major LGBT event Copenhagen 2021, which will take place in the Danish capital and Malmö from August 12-22, noted they were “greatly encouraged that major events can take place without restrictions once everyone in Denmark has been offered their first vaccine, currently scheduled for the end of June”.