Denmark's health officials will lift all of the country's Covid restrictions by September 10, as they believe the virus no longer poses ‘a critical threat to society.
More than 70 percent of Danes are fully vaccinated and the low levels of Covid in the country led the health minister on Friday to announce that the virus is now ‘under control'.
‘The epidemic is under control, we have record vaccination levels. That is why, on September 10, we can lift the special rules we had to introduce in the fight against Covid-19,' Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said.
However, he stressed that ‘the epidemic is not over and said the government ‘will not hesitate to act quickly if the pandemic once again threatens the essential functioning of society.'
Denmark was one of the first countries to introduce a partial lockdown in March 2020, shutting down schools and non-essential businesses and services.
It has relaxed and reinforced its measures throughout the pandemic, and in April introduced a ‘corona passport' granting holders access to businesses like restaurants, cinemas, gyms, and hair salons.
That requirement was already lifted in some places such as museums on August 1, and masks have not been mandatory on public transport in Denmark since August 14.
A number of further restrictions are set to end on September 1. From the start of the month, people will no longer be required to show a valid corona pass to sit in restaurants and bars, though a pass will still be required to enter nightclubs and other large events such as football matches until September 10.
The change in the classification of Covid-19 will not, however, affect rules on travel into Denmark, which are governed by a separate inter-party agreement that is due to expire in October, a spokesperson for the health ministry said.
Denmark has not seen more than five coronavirus-related deaths per day since February.
Meanwhile, in England, cases continued to grow last week with one in 70 people testing positive for the virus, official figures show.
Some 756,900 people had Covid on any given day in the week leading up to August 20, a jump of nine percent compared to the 698,100 figure seven days earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Across England, 1.39 percent of people had Covid, but as many as 1.8 percent of people tested positive in the worst-hit parts of the country. Up to 3.5 percent of school-aged children had the virus, sparking fears that cases will surge as children head back to the classroom in England and Wales next week.