Foto: Madsen Jensen / Ritzau Scanpix

Speed, efficiency and trust

Strategy for handling covid-19 until the spring of 2023

As part of our national covid-19 response, a strategy with 8 focus areas has been developed in the response to the coronavirus. Each focus area contains a basic level and an escalation level. The basic level is a basic package of tools that help keep the epidemic under control while supporting rapid escalation of efforts in the event of a worsening epidemic situation. The basic level is described in the strategy as the current level of epidemic management. This strategy for handling covid-19 applies to 2022 and the 1st quarter of 2023.

Strategy objectives

  • Saving lives – protecting the elderly and vulnerable
  • Avoid hospital overload
  • Maintain a healthy economy and keep people at work
  • Avoid lockdowns and restrictions

8 focus areas of the strategy

Special areas of action: Elderly and vulnerable at increased risk

Separate focus on protecting the elderly and vulnerable citizens.

  • Prioritised as the first vaccination effort.
  • Extended access to booster vaccinations based on individual assessment of the individual's risk of severe illness, risk of infection and presumed immune status. The assessment can be made by either a general practitioner or a hospital doctor.
  • Rapid roll-out in elderly care and to particularly vulnerable people in residential care, if necessary.
  • If infection levels increase: Intensified testing capacity within social care and elder care.
  • Staff within elder care (in nursing homes and in home care) and within the social services where at-risk individuals are encouraged to take 2 weekly antigen self-tests.
  • Continued focus on the health authorities' current recommendations on cleaning, preventive and protective equipment, distancing and hygiene.
  • Staff who will use preventive and protective equipment in case of close contact with residents with detected covid-19 or where infection is suspected; see the current guidelines.
  • If infection levels increase: stricter infection prevention recommendations from the health authorities.
  • Continued outbreak management in nursing homes, residential facilities etc.
  • Possible introduction of relevant contact-reducing coronavirus restrictions and, if necessary, specific orders from Danish patient safety Authority regarding visitor restrictions at nursing homes and within the social services (if covid-19 is categorised as a generally dangerous disease). Visitor restrictions may only be initiated if it is deemed relevant (proportionate).
  • Improving data on testing, infection and the vaccination situation for the elderly (especially in relation to home care) and in areas of social care.
  • Competence development (ongoing supervision and discussions in relation to knowledge of infection prevention measures) of staff at elderly care institutions and within the social services for people at increased risk.
  • Equality of private and public operators within areas of social care and elder care in relation to the availability of tests and vaccines.

Potential scenarios

If there is an increase in infections with variants similar to omicron. Not expected to affect health care more than in the previous wave of omicron. The current infection with BA.5 can possibly be seen as a precursor to this.

If there is an increase in infections with variants similar to delta. Higher risk of a large disease burden in relation to infections, with derived effects on the healthcare system compared to scenario 1. Highest risk for the elderly and vulnerable. Vaccination is expected to reduce the risk of severe illness.

Introduction of a new variant that significantly evades existing immunity and causes widespread disease (similar to omicron) and possibly serious illness (new severe variant). It is difficult to assess the risk of whether the disease will become widespread and/or severe. Vaccination is expected to reduce the risk of severe illness to some extent.


  • Statens Serum Institut (SSI) expects as a minimum a wave of infection with a variant similar to omicron in the fall of 2022.
  • The UK authorities (SAGE) also expect seasonal surges as a result of waning immunity.
  • SSI also expects that a new variant with concerning characteristics that could cause concern can be introduced, which could spread in Denmark (scenario 2 or 3).
  • The degree of concern depends on the specific characteristics of the variant, especially whether it is more severe.

About risk levels and escalation

The Epidemic Commission sets the risk level based on input from the health authorities.

Following a new risk assessment the Epidemic Commission evaluates whether there is a basis for the government to escalate the effort.

Transparency regarding risk levels and the Epidemic Commission's assessments is crucial for both business and cultural institutions in relation to preparation of potential measures and contingency plans within the sectors.

Primary indicators for adjusting risk level

  • New virus variants that are cause for concern
  • Waning immunity
  • Sharp rise in the epidemic
  • Challenges to hospital capacity
  • Rising positive rates
  • Increasing excess mortality

Risk levels

Risk levels Description
1 Potential for very low disease burden in the coming period
2 Potential for low disease burden in the coming period
3 Potential for moderate disease burden in the coming period
4 Potential for high disease burden in the coming period
5 Potential for very high disease burden in the coming period