Denmark starts to lift face mask mandate

Denmark on Monday started to phase out the requirement to wear face masks in all public areas before lifting it entirely by Sept. 1.

As from Monday, the wearing of face masks is mandatory on public transport only during rush hours. Customers in shops and supermarkets, and those visiting hairdressers or nail salons, are exempt from the face mask rule.

“The vast majority of people at increased risk have been fully vaccinated, and this also applies to a large part of the rest of the population and employees in the health care system,” said Helene Probst, deputy director of the Danish Health Authority, in a statement.

The relaxation came after a new agreement was reached by the political parties in the Danish Parliament on Thursday. Accompanying the agreement, the Danish Health Authority has published a new set of guidelines that detail where face masks are now required, specifically “where there exists a perceived increased risk of infection.”

Therefore, face masks will remain mandatory in hospitals, doctors’ waiting rooms, coronavirus test sites, vaccination centers and on flights in and out of Denmark.

The Statens Serum Institut (SSI), the country’s infectious diseases agency, registered 237 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, the lowest number since last September, bringing the national total to 290,111 confirmed cases. The death toll stands at 2,526.

To date, 2,725,559 people, or 46.6 percent of the population, have received at least a first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, and 1,501,788 of them, or 25.7 percent of the population, are fully vaccinated, the SSI reported on Monday.