After nearly 550 days, Denmark lifts coronavirus restrictions

After nearly 550 days, Denmark lifts coronavirus restrictions
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Denmark on Friday lifted all domestic COVID-19 restrictions after 548 days of regulations, The Associated Press reported.

With more than 80 percent of individuals above the age of 12 fully vaccinated, the country announced it would begin a return to normality as proof of vaccination through a digital pass is no longer required to enter nightclubs — the last restriction in the country.

“I wouldn’t say it is too early. We have opened the door but we have also said that we can close it if needed,” Soeren Riis Paludan, a professor of virology with the Aarhus University in Denmark, told the AP.

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Last month, the government began preparing for the country's reopening. After the last restriction is lifted, the government will no longer see COVID-19 as “a socially critical disease.” 

"The epidemic is under control, we have record vaccination levels," Denmark's health minister, Magnus Heunicke, said in August. "That is why we can drop the special rules we had to introduce in the fight against COVID-19.” 

However, Heunicke remained careful as he warned that the pandemic was not over yet and the government would "act quickly" if cases started to rise.

“Nobody should have the illusion that we are over this," Jens Lundgren, a professor of viral diseases at the Copenhagen University Hospital, told the AP.

The nation ended its face mask mandate on Aug. 14, kicking off the lifting of restrictions.

In the pandemic's beginning, Denmark notably did not go into lockdown or close any businesses. Instead, they relied on individuals choosing to stay home based on civic duty to control the infection.