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Covid-19: Denmark “will get back to the life it used to be” from February 1 – Le Monde

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Is this the beginning of the end of the Covid-19 epidemic? In any case, it looks like it in Denmark, where Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced on Wednesday January 26 the lifting of almost all national restrictions from 1er February. The disease will then no longer be considered a threat to society. And this, despite the contamination records broken in recent days in the kingdom of 5.8 million inhabitants, where 46,747 cases were recorded on Wednesday and where the incidence rate reached 4,753 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven. days, the highest rate in Europe, ahead of that of France.

During the twenty-sixth press conference organized on this subject by the government since the start of the pandemic – and ” the last “dared to hope the director of public health, Soren Brostrom -, Mette Frederiksen did not hide her joy and her optimism. “We can start to smile again. We are ready to emerge from the shadow of the coronavirus”she said.

Read also Covid-19: the risk linked to Omicron remains high, according to the WHO

The announcement of the lifting of restrictions will not have surprised anyone. On Tuesday, the scientific council, responsible for making recommendations to the government, expressed itself in this direction. The committee on the pandemic, which brings together all the political parties in Parliament, gave its agreement on Wednesday afternoon.

From 1er February, wearing a mask will therefore no longer be compulsory, nor will the vaccination pass. Bars and restaurants will return to their usual opening hours and nightclubs, closed since December 2021, will be able to resume their activity, as will leisure parks or aquatic centers. Gauges are disappearing and working remotely will no longer be recommended. “We are going to get back to life”summarized Mette Frederiksen.

Decline in hospitalizations

Two exceptions, however: the government is extending the restrictions on entering the territory by four weeks. A test may be required as well as quarantine, depending on the country of origin. The Prime Minister also called for all possible precautions to be taken to protect the most vulnerable elderly people. Wearing a mask or the vaccination pass may be required locally in retirement homes.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke, for his part, announced a drop in screening capacity, although symptomatic people will have to continue to be tested. Denmark is the country that has tested the most since the start of the pandemic, which explains how the Nordic kingdom avoided the worst, with only 3,565 deaths, estimates Ole Frilev Olesen, professor of public health at the University of Copenhagen. : “Thanks to our screening strategy, we were able to detect and intervene quickly when there were outbreaks of contamination. »

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