SHARE
COPY LINK

BORDERS

Coronavirus: Denmark turns away 149 travellers after closing border

149 people have been rejected at the border in southern Jutland since the borders closed on Saturday, according to South Jutland Police.

Coronavirus: Denmark turns away 149 travellers after closing border
A police officer controls a car driver at the Danish border in Moellehus, Denmark, on March 14, 2020: AFP
Denmark effectively closed its borders at midday on Saturday, in a move aimed at stemming the fight of the coronavirus. The borders will remain closed until April 13th, the government has said.

South Jutland Police tweeted on Sunday that they have checked 3748 people at the Danish-German border and rejected 149.

At border crossings in Southern Jutland, at airports, ports and other places where people travel from abroad, there are extensive border checks to ensure compliance with the restrictions.

Certain categories of people notably those who live and work in Denmark are still be able to enter. Travellers will be turned away if they can't show that they have a legitimate reason to be there, for example that they are Danish citizens or foreign nationals living and working in the country.

Expatriated Danish soldiers are not allowed to return to Denmark on leave until March 30th.

On Saturday, Copenhagen Police said that 13 people had been rejected at the Øresund bridge but there had been no refusals at Copenhagen airport.  

There has been some concern from the tourism industry over the sudden closure of the borders.

The CEO of Feriehusudlejernes Brancheforening (The Holiday Homes Rentals Association) has said the closure will mean German holidaymakers must cancel 1.4 million nights in holiday homes until mid April. 

Tønder's mayor Henrik Frandsen described the situation as deeply serious for the tourism and business of the town, which relies on those visiting from south of the border.

As of Saturday, Denmark has 827 confirmed cases of coronavirus and no deaths. According to the Worldometers website, this is the fourth highest per capita number of infections worldwide after Italy, Norway and South Korea. There are also nine confirmed cases in the Faroe Islands but no cases in Greenland.

Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed its travel advisory so that the entire world is classed as 'orange'. This means it now recommends against unnecessary travel to any other country.

Danish citizens currently abroad are encouraged to return to the country immediately. 

“If you are already abroad, you should return home as quickly as possible,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said at the press conference on Friday, stressing that this advice only applied to Danes travelling, and not those permanently resident abroad. 

At Friday's press conference, the government also announced that hospitals in the country would stop carrying out all normal medical procedures to concentrate on essential and emergency medical care and treating those infected with the virus. 

Danish public broadcaster DR have provided a list of which categories of people will be allowed to cross the border. 

They include: 

  • Danish citizens 
  • Those working or living in Denmark
  • Those delivering good to Denmark
  • Those collecting goods from Denmark 
  • Those with visitation rights to children in Denmark
  • Those visiting extremely sick family members in Denmark 
  • Other reasons for visiting will be assessed on a case by case business
  • Ordinary visits to family members will not be a sufficient reason to enter Denmark

 

 

Member comments

  1. As at 23.00 on 13 March the position is unclear. No advice from UK Foreign Office or British Airways , and hotel staff in Copenhagen are unable to confirm. The reports of travel bans ‘to and from’ after noon on 14 March seem to suggest tourists will be unable to leave for at least a month after then. Since it is unclear, we have booked a last minute flight out via Air France before the noon deadline, just to be sure.

  2. How are ‘visitation rights to children in Denmark’ defined? My wife works in Denmark and our daughter attends a Danish school (now disrupted, of course). None of us is a Danish citizen, and I live and and work in the UK. What kind of documents/evidence do I need to enter the country? Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

HEALTH

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

Due to high Covid infection numbers throughout the summer, it’s now possible to get a sick note from a doctor over the phone again for some illnesses. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

What’s happened?

In spring 2020, German authorities changed the law so that people with a mild upper respiratory tract illness, such as the common cold, were able to get an incapacity to work certificate or AU-Bescheinigung by simply calling and speaking to their GP.

The rule was extended several times and finally reversed on June 1st this year due to falling infection figures. Since then people have had to go back to the practice – or do a video call if the doctor’s office has that system in place – to get a sick note.

Now, due to a decision by the Joint Federal Committee, the regulation has been reintroduced and patients can call their GP again for a sick note.

Can I get a sick note over the phone for any illness?

No. As before, the regulation only applies to patients suffering from a mild upper respiratory tract illness. Though Covid has not explicitly been named in the announcement, it seems that it is intended to be covered by the regulation.

If the doctor is convinced that the patient is unfit for work after a telephone consultation, then they can issue a sick note for up to seven days.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The changes around doctor’s notes in Germany you should know

If the symptoms persist after seven days, the certificate can be extended once more for another week.

Why now?

According to the Chairman of the G-BA, Josef Hecken, the regulation has been introduced now as a response to rising Covid numbers and in anticipation of the cold and flu season in the coming months: “We want to avoid full waiting rooms in doctors’ offices and the emergence of new infection chains,” he said.

The telephone sick leave rule is a simple, proven and uniform nationwide solution for that, he said. The rule is also necessary because video consultation hours are not yet available everywhere.

What else should I know?

The health insurer DAK is calling for telephone sick leave in the case of light respiratory diseases to be made possible on a permanent basis in Germany. DAK’s CEO Andreas Storm said that this should “not always be up for debate, because it has proven itself.” 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about making a doctor’s appointment in Germany

The social association VdK also welcomed the reintroduction of the rule. The VdK’s President Verena Bentele said that the regulation would help to protect high-risk groups in particular from potential infections.

What are the rules to know about sick notes in Germany?

Germany has a strict system in place. If you are sick, you need to give your employer a Krankmeldung (notification of sickness) before the start of work on the first day (of your illness).

However, you also need to hand in a Krankschreibung (doctor’s note) on the fourth day of your illness. Some employments contracts, however, require you to submit a sick not earlier than the fourth day so check with your boss or HR on that point. 

SHOW COMMENTS