Kiwi expats explain how unrestricted Denmark copes with Omicron

Kiwi expats living in Denmark shared their experiences of a country without any restrictions despite tens of thousands of new cases per day.

The Scandinavian country was one of the first in Europe to remove all Covid restrictions with more than 80% of its population over five double hits and 60% boosted.

Pie baker and former Aucklander Stu Thrush is happy with the way the Danish government has handled the Covid presence in the community.

“They took a flexible approach and they really waited for the numbers to change before making any changes to the company,” Thrush said.

Kiwi writer Keri Bloomfield said she felt the country had turned a corner.

“There is hope in the air, we really feel like we have reached a milestone. It has been a strange two years, everyone has worked hard to do their part and I can see there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said the former Wellingtonian.

Bloomfield said school children testing positive was a relatively normal occurrence, while schools remained open during the Omicron wave.

“Everyday we get messages, I just got one today that there’s another kid in the class who’s had corona. It’s just another accepted part of the day now where we are aware of that,” Bloomfield said.

The two said they felt Danish society responded well to public health advice when the country faced its first nationwide waves of the virus.

“The Danes are very docile – we’ll make a fuss if need be – but when the going gets tough we’ll do our best to watch over the rest of the community,” Thrush said.

A health expert said building trust with the public was key.

Professor Flemming Konradsen of the University of Copenhagen said Danish policy had followed public health advice more closely than in other European countries.

“All political parties have respected that from a public health perspective it makes a lot of sense to be immune, it makes a lot of sense to wear a face mask, and so on.”

Meanwhile, other countries like Bulgaria and Spain have faced fierce protests and furious opposition to public health initiatives such as vaccination and masking requirements.

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