Denmark recently reopened to more travelers. In particular, permanent residents of the U.S. and U.K. who are fully vaccinated can now visit Denmark for non-essential reasons without testing or quarantine when traveling from yellow or orange countries.
As with almost every country reopening to tourism amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the requirements and regulations can be challenging to follow. So, here’s what you should know about Denmark’s reopening.
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Denmark reopens to fully vaccinated U.S. and U.K. tourists
Visit Denmark posted the following news on June 4:
4 June 2021, it was announced that Denmark will open to fully vaccinated travelers from the US and UK already from 5 June. Fully vaccinated meaning that they’ve had an EMA approved vaccine and that it has been at least 14 days since the final dose. There are no longer any restrictions in terms of ‘worthy purpose’, testing and isolation for these travelers.
Unvaccinated children traveling with vaccinated grown ups are also allowed entry, but will have to test. The same is the case for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
I was initially skeptical about this news when digging through the official Denmark government coronavirus website for confirmation. After all, Denmark’s country categories system still considers the U.S. to be an orange country. But, Denmark’s government website states that the following people can enter Denmark without a worthy purpose, testing or quarantine:
“…people whose permanent residence is in the EU and Schengen countries as well as Andorra, San Marino, Monaco or the Vatican City, an OECD country or a yellow third country and who have been vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine in the EU and Schengen countries as well as Andorra, San Marino, Monaco or the Vatican City, an OECD country or a yellow third country.”
You might initially think that this list doesn’t cover the U.S. and U.K. But, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has 37 members, including the U.S. and U.K.
Related: What to know about vaccinated Americans visiting the European Union this summer
How to get in
If you’re a permanent resident of the U.S., U.K. or other eligible countries and have been vaccinated with an approved vaccine in the U.S., U.K. or other eligible countries, you can enter Denmark without needing a worthy purpose and without any testing or quarantine requirements. However, you will need to show documentation of your completed vaccine course. In particular, the Denmark government coronavirus website notes:
Until the European corona passport is operational (expected 26 June 2021) documentation for completed vaccination course must include the information currently included in the Danish vaccination passport available on sundhed.dk. This includes:
Date of birth
Name of vaccine
Status in vaccination
Date of vaccination – First and second dose (when second dose is required)
When you travel to Denmark, your departure location matters. In particular, whether you leave from a yellow, orange or red country defines the requirements you must meet for entry. In particular, if you depart from a red country, you’ll face significantly more requirements.
As you can see, you won’t need to take a test before boarding or upon arrival as a fully-vaccinated traveler with permanent residence in the U.S., U.K. or select other countries. Denmark releases new country categories each week; check this website for the most recent list.
If you aren’t fully vaccinated, know that U.S. and U.K. residents can enter Denmark with a negative test. However, when traveling from an orange country like the U.S. or U.K., you’ll need a worthy purpose for your travel. And you’ll need to test before flying, test upon arrival and then self-isolation upon arrival.
Related: Want to travel to Europe this summer? Here’s what you need to know
What is open?
Most restaurants, tourist sites and hotels are open. Visit Denmark notes the following:
Danish citizens have a ‘corona passport’ system, where they can access cafes, restaurants and cultural offerings if they can show that they have had a negative corona test in the past 72 hours.
There may be different restrictions in place in different parts of Denmark, so check before travel in case they affect your trip. People are expected to keep their distance from each other, and face masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces, including shops.
It’s unclear whether you can get a corona passport as a tourist. But, since many attractions require guests to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their visit, prepare to get tested frequently. However, it seems that you may be able to dine outdoors at cafes in some locations without needing to show a negative test or corona passport.
Related: Second Cities: Destinations to add onto a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark
How to get to Denmark
When traveling during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s typically best to avoid transiting third countries when possible. So, you’ll likely want to take one of the following non-stop flights from the U.S. to Denmark:
- Boston to Copenhagen on Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), starting in August
- Chicago to Copenhagen on SAS
- Los Angeles to Copenhagen on SAS
- Miami to Copenhagen on SAS, operating Oct. to April
- Newark to Copenhagen on SAS
- San Francisco to Copenhagen on SAS
- Washington IAD to Copenhagen on SAS
Related: Inside the SAS Airbus A350, in all classes
All of these flights are on Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which is a Star Alliance member. Here are the best websites for searching Star Alliance award availability. I did a quick award search for non-stop flights from Los Angeles to Copenhagen and got the following:
However, you don’t necessarily have to use United MileagePlus for your redemption. Instead, here are seven airline mileage programs for booking Star Alliance awards.
Related: The best ways to travel to Europe using points and miles
Where to stay in Denmark
There’s a lot of Denmark to see that isn’t Copenhagen. But, if you want to redeem World of Hyatt points, Marriott Bonvoy points, Choice Privileges points or IHG Rewards points, you’ll need to stay in Copenhagen and then take day trips outside the city.
For example, if you want to redeem World of Hyatt points, the Nimb Hotel located in Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Garden is your only option. This World of Hyatt Category 8 property is bookable through Hyatt’s Small Luxury Hotels of the World partnership for 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night.
If you prefer to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll be happy to learn there are four Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Copenhagen, Denmark. The visually appealing AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen and Moxy Copenhagen Sydhavnen are Category 4 properties, while the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel is Category 6 and the Nobis Hotel Copenhagen is Category 7. Remember, you can get a fifth night free when redeeming Marriott points.
I typically like to use Choice Privileges points in Europe. And Choice Privileges has several centrally located properties in Copenhagen. I found the best availability for summer travel at the SKT. PETRI, bookable through Choice’s Ascend Hotel Collection. And this hotel looks like an excellent option for 20,000 points per night.
Finally, you can redeem IHG Rewards points to stay at the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers. This hotel’s location may not be ideal for most tourists, but you can get a fourth-night reward if you have an eligible IHG Rewards card and you redeem points for a four-night stay or longer.
Of course, you might also want to consider staying at Accor hotels or booking other properties through an online travel agent. If you book through an online travel agency, make sure to earn rewards through one of the best online travel agency rewards programs.
Related: Hotel sweet spots: 16 European hotels you can book from 5,000 points per night
Featured image by Lingxiao Xie / Getty Images.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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