Later this week, England is scheduled to drop its problematic mask mandate for shops and public transport, along with its highly unpopular vaccine passport regime. Up north, Scotland says it will “relax” so-called ‘work from home guidance,’ and reopen nightclubs, as well as ending venue capacity limits.
While the UK and Ireland gingerly roll-back their highly disruptive COVID restriction policies, other European countries are now leading the way by scrapping the entire ‘pandemic’ regime altogether.
Denmark said it would lift almost all Covid-19 restrictions and stop designating it a “societally critical” disease on Wednesday in the latest sign that western European countries are easing or even eradicating strict measures brought in to combat the Omicron coronavirus variant.
Magnus Heunicke, Denmark’s health minister, wrote to parliament on Wednesday saying that he would remove all Covid-19 restrictions on February 1, except for testing on arrival from abroad. Just as the Danish government did in September, when it lifted all restrictions, it will also stop calling Covid-19 a “societally critical disease”, meaning that it will no longer have the legal basis to introduce wide-ranging curbs.
“Tonight we can begin to lower our shoulders and find our smiles again,” said Mette Frederiksen, Danish prime minister, on Wednesday evening. “The pandemic is still here, but with what we know now, we can dare to believe we are through the critical phase.”
Denmark is the latest European country in recent days to announce it is dropping most or nearly all measures as it follows in the footsteps of the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands…
Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets like Politico report this latest development with the accompanied fear-mongering over the latest “subvariant” – allegedly on the loose:
The announcement comes as a new subvariant of Omicron, BA.2, is gaining a foothold in Denmark and driving infections up, with 46,000 new COVID-19 cases recorded on Wednesday.
“Recent weeks have seen very high infection rates, in fact the highest in the entire pandemic,” Frederiksen said. “Therefore, it may seem strange and paradoxical that we are now ready to let go of the restrictions.”
Some 82 percent of Denmark’s population is fully vaccinated with two doses, of whom 50 percent are boosted with a third dose, according to the Danish Health and Medicines Authority.
However, as the FT points out, with this alleged rise in “cases” (aka PCR positive tests) promoted in the media – there is no corresponding rise in serious illness as a result COVID-19:
Denmark still has one of the highest number of Covid-19 cases per capita in the world, currently more than 10 times its previous peak as Omicron causes tens of thousands of daily infections. But the number of patients in intensive care continues to fall and, even with Omicron, never hit the peaks reached from April 2020 and January 2021.
Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Sweden, Norway and Finland have all announced they will also be easing their restrictions in the coming weeks