Face mask or shield

Questions and answers about the requirement to wear a face mask or shield.

Extended COVID-19 measures

All national measures have been extended until the end of 5 April 2021.

See overview of national measures

Questions and answers

Questions and answers about the requirement to wear a face mask or shield. Updated: 10 February 2021.

Persons aged 12 or more must wear face masks or shields at the following locations:

  • On public transport etc., including trains, busses, taxis and ferries, and at train stations. However, face mask are not mandatory at bus stops.
  • At establishments selling food, drinks or tobacco for on-site consumption. Please note that restaurants, bars and similar establishments must stay closed.
  • In wholesale and retail shops, including durable goods shops, grocery shops, shopping centres, department stores, hypermarkets, bazaars, shopping arcades and establishments selling food or drinks not consumed on-site (takeaway) etc. Please note that durable goods shops, shopping centres, department stores, hypermarkets, shopping arcades and establishments selling food or drinks not consumed on-site must stay closed.
  • At premises for cultural, sports and club activities, including museums, sports centres, fitness centres, art exhibitions, music venues, libraries, cultural centres, zoos, cinemas, theatres and club premises. Please note that such premises must remain closed to the public. At premises at which the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or other religious communities perform activities.[ANJ1] 
  • At job centres and citizens service centres.
  • At day-care facilities, elementary schools and after-school care facilities etc.
  • At institutions of preparatory education, upper secondary schools, Danish language programmes for adult foreigners etc., adult education and continuing training programmes, institutions of higher education, university extension courses, day folk high schools, evening classes, schools of music and arts, driving schools offering theory training, folk high schools etc.
  • At public and private hospitals and clinics, with independent therapists, in connection with municipal healthcare services, at municipal and private care homes and assisted living housing, at respite care facilities, at a number of foster care facilities and at institutions for people with mental disorders or special needs in the social care sector.
  • During practical driving tests, guiding driving tests to assess health issues or final driving tests in vehicles together with other passengers. 

Accordingly, it is not a general requirement to wear face masks or shields at all premises open to the public. 

 Read more in the Q&As below about the requirements applicable to individual areas, including the exemptions from the face mask requirement.

The following groups of people are exempt from the requirement to wear a face mask or shield:

  • Persons under the age of 12.
  • Persons with a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields. 

Further, persons who are otherwise required to wear a face mask or shield are allowed to remove their face masks or shields, fully or partly, if they have a good reason to do so. It could be in the following situations:

  • For a short time while consuming food and drinks if such consumption is allowed at the relevant place (guests at restaurants and similar places can remove face masks and shields when seated).
  • To take medication.
  • During a conversation with a person who lip-reads.
  • If the face mask or shield causes respiratory problems or a sense of suffocation.
  • If the police want to verify someone's identity. 
  • If children or young people or persons with a mental or physical impairment for various reasons need to be comforted or panic when wearing face masks or shields.

Special exemptions may apply in individual situations. Read more about the face mask requirements in the Q&As below.

No, documentation is not required. No one is required to provide documentation, such as a medical certificate, substantiating that he or she is exempt from the requirement.

It should be emphasised that it is important to give such person the benefit of the doubt and not to enter into discussions with persons such as customers over the rules. However, if a shop is to comply with its duty only to allow access to customers who observe the requirement to wear a face mask or shield, it is also important that it appears credible that the customer is exempt from the requirement. It is possible to call the police if a customer refuses to wear a face mask or shield for no apparent reason and refuses to leave the shop.

Yes, it is normally possible to impose stricter requirements than the mandatory requirement on personal protective equipment. However, it is important to ensure compliance with other legislation.

Persons aged 12 or more must wear face masks or shields on public transport etc., including trains, busses, taxies and ferries, and at station areas, including train stations and bus stations. Personal protective equipment is not mandatory at bus stops.

The requirement to wear a face mask or shield at train stations etc. also applies to persons who just go through a train station even though they do not use public transport to or from the location.

Persons with a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields are exempt from the requirement to wear a face mask or shield.

In exceptional cases, it is allowed to remove the face mask or shield, fully or partly, if there is a good reason, such as: 

  • For a short time while consuming food and drinks if such consumption is allowed on the relevant means of transport etc.
  • To take medication.
  • In a private vehicle during a ferry crossing if passengers are allowed to stay in vehicles by the ferry operator.
  • During a conversation with a person who lip-reads.
  • If the face mask or shield causes respiratory problems or a sense of suffocation.
  • If the police want to verify someone's identity. 

The requirement to wear a face mask or shield on public transport also applies to employees when they are on the transport vehicle or at a station etc., unless they stay in a closed room or behind a barrier screen for staff members only. The face mask or shield can be removed temporarily if the employee's view is obstructed in a specific traffic situation. It is the duty of employers to make sure that employees wear face masks or shields during working hours.

 Persons who do not wear face masks etc. as required can be asked to leave. The police can fine persons who fail to leave a transport vehicle or the station area when requested to do so.

Persons aged 12 or more must wear face masks or shields at restaurants etc. selling takeaway food or drinks which are open to the public.

The requirement applies to customers and visitors as well as staff of restaurants, bars and similar establishments and other persons who are admitted to the premises and are in contact with customers etc. The requirement does not apply in the following situations:

  • When guests are seated at restaurants, bars and similar establishments.
  • If persons have a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields.
  • If the staff and other persons admitted to the premises stay in a closed room or in an area behind a barrier screen for staff members only. A barrier screen could be a plexiglass screen used as a barrier in front of a bar or counter. 

Persons who are otherwise required to wear a face mask or shield are allowed to remove their face masks or shields, fully or partly, if they have a good reason to do so. It could be in the following situations: 

  • For a short time while consuming food and drinks if the food and drinks are consumed at premises at which food and drinks are served and retail sales are made (joint operation) when turnover is mainly generated by retail sales, such as convenience stores, petrol stations or baker's shops with bar tables or counters but no seating possibility. This exception does not apply to ordinary restaurants, bars and similar establishments as guests at restaurants and similar places can remove face masks and shields when seated.
  • To take medication.
  • During a conversation with a person who lip-reads.
  • If the face mask or shield causes respiratory problems or a sense of suffocation.
  • If the police want to verify someone's identity.
  • If children or young people or persons with a mental or physical impairment for various reasons need to be comforted or panic when wearing face masks or shields

Customers and visitors not wearing face masks etc. as required cannot be allowed access to the restaurant, bar etc. if the failure the wear personal protective equipment is not justified, and customers and visitors who fail to wear face masks or shields without justification can be asked to leave. The police can fine persons who fail to leave a restaurant, bar or similar establishment when requested to do so.

Persons aged 12 or more must wear face masks or shields at wholesale and retail premises open to the public, such as durable goods shops, grocery shops, shopping centres, department stores, hypermarkets, bazaars, shopping arcades and establishments selling food or drinks not consumed on-site (takeaway) etc.

The requirement applies to customers and visitors as well as staff of wholesale and retail shops and other persons who are admitted to the premises and are in contact with customers etc. The requirement does not apply in the following situations: 

  • If persons have a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields.
  • If the staff and other persons admitted to the premises stay in a closed room or in an area behind a barrier screen for staff members only. A barrier screen could be a plexiglass screen used as a barrier in front of a checkout desk or counter.

Persons who are otherwise required to wear face masks or shields are allowed to remove their face masks or shields, fully or partly, if they have a good reason to do so. It could be in the following situations: 

  • For a short time while consuming food and drinks if such consumption is allowed at the relevant place.
  • To take medication.
  • During a conversation with a person who lip-reads.
  • If the face mask or shield causes respiratory problems or a sense of suffocation.
  • If the police want to verify someone's identity.
  • If children or young people or persons with a mental or physical impairment for various reasons need to be comforted or panic when wearing face masks or shields.

Customers and visitors not wearing face masks etc. as required cannot be allowed access, and customers and visitors who fail to wear face masks or shields without justification can be asked to leave. The police can fine persons who fail to leave a wholesale or retail shop when requested to do so.

Please note that premises for sports, club and recreational activities must stay closed to the public for the time being. 

Customers, visitors, participants and staff aged 12 years or more must cover their mouths and noses by face masks or shields if they are indoors at premises for cultural, sports and club activities, including museums, sports centres, fitness centres, art exhibitions, music venues, libraries, cultural centres, zoos, cinemas, theatres and club premises.

The requirement to wear a face mask or shield does not apply in the following situations: 

  • If customers, users, audience etc. are seated.
  • When actors, performers and contributors are in action and when the relevant cultural, sports or club activity is performed.
  • Staff members without any contact with customers, clients, users, audience or the like or who stay behind a barrier screen or in a closed room for staff members only.

Persons aged 12 or more must wear face masks or shields at premises at which the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or other religious communities open to the public perform activities.

The requirement applies to users, visitors etc. and to staff and other persons admitted to the relevant premises and having contact with users etc. The requirement does not apply in the following situations:

  • If users, visitors etc. are seated.
  • If persons have a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields.
  • When servants, performers and contributors are in action and when the relevant religious activity is performed. This means that pastors and other preachers are not required to wear face masks during their sermons or performance of religious ceremonies. However, the requirement to wear a face mask applies before and after the performance of the relevant activity.
  • If the staff and other persons admitted to the premises stay in a closed room or in an area behind a barrier screen for staff members only. A barrier screen could be a plexiglass screen. 

Persons who are otherwise required to wear face masks or shields are allowed to remove their face masks or shields, fully or partly, if they have a good reason to do so. It could be in the following situations: 

  • For a short time while consuming food and drinks if such consumption is allowed at the relevant place.
  • To take medication.
  • During a conversation with a person who lip-reads.
  • If the face mask or shield causes respiratory problems or a sense of suffocation.
  • If the police want to verify someone's identity.
  • If children or young people or persons with a mental or physical impairment for various reasons need to be comforted or panic when wearing face masks or shields.

Persons who do not wear face masks etc. as required can be asked to leave. The police can fine persons who fail to leave the premises when requested to do so.

Users, visitors etc. not wearing face masks etc. as required cannot be allowed access, and users, visitors etc. who fail to wear face masks or shields without justification can be asked to leave. The police can fine persons who fail to leave the premises for religious activities when requested to do so.

Persons aged 12 or more must wear face masks or shields indoors at institutions of preparatory education, upper secondary schools, Danish language programmes for adult foreigners etc., adult education and continuing training programmes, institutions of higher education, university extension courses, day folk high schools, evening classes, schools of music and arts, driving schools offering theory training classes, folk high schools etc. The requirement does not apply to geographically independent departments of educational institutions with no teaching.

Pupils, course participants and students are not required to wear face masks etc. in the following situations: 

  • When they attend classes or educational activities in classrooms or group rooms or at sports premises, workshops, clinics, laboratories etc.
  • When they are only together with pupils etc. from their own basis class or team or, in the case of boarding units, when they are only together with people from their house, family or primary group etc.
  • When they are doing tests. 

Teachers, tutors, speakers, employees, visitors and other persons admitted to the relevant educational institution etc. are not required to wear face masks etc. in the following situations:

  • When they are not in contact with other people.
  • When they are staying in a closed room or behind a barrier screen to which pupils, course participants, participants, students, visitors etc. do not have access.
  • When, on the relevant day, they teach two or fewer classes and the lessons are given in classrooms or group rooms or at sports premises, workshops, clinics, laboratories etc. 

However, teachers, lecturers etc. at the relevant educational institutions still have the right to wear face masks or shields when indoors at the educational institution.

Persons with a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields are exempt from the requirement to wear personal protective equipment.

Persons who are otherwise required to wear face masks or shields are allowed to remove their face masks or shields, fully or partly, if they have a good reason to do so. It could be in the following situations: 

  • For a short time while consuming food and drinks if such consumption is allowed at the relevant place.
  • To take medication.
  • During a conversation with a person who lip-reads.
  • If the face mask or shield causes respiratory problems or a sense of suffocation.
  • If the police want to verify someone's identity.
  • If children or young people or persons with a mental or physical impairment for various reasons need to be comforted or panic when wearing face masks or shields.

Pupils etc. not wearing face masks etc. as required cannot be allowed access to educational institutions, and pupils etc. who fail to wear face masks or shields without justification can be asked to leave. 

The requirement to wear a face mask or shield does not apply to day-care facilities etc., elementary schools and after-school care facilities etc. Teachers at day-care facilities etc. and teachers and social educators at elementary schools and after-school care facilities etc. are entitled to use shields indoors at the institution or school.

Persons aged 12 years or more who visit a day-care facility, elementary school, after-school care facility etc., including parents of children enrolled in the facility or school, must cover their mouths and noses by face masks or shields when they are indoors at the facility or school, including at any boarding unit.

 

The requirement to wear a face mask or shield does not apply to pupils, staff and other persons attached to a day-care facility, elementary school, after-school care facility etc.

However, persons attached to a day-care facility, elementary school or after-school care facility etc. are entitled to use shields indoors at the facility or school.

The requirement to wear a face mask or shield does not apply to persons with a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear personal protective equipment.

 

Visitors at day-care facilities, elementary schools and after-school care facilities who fail to wear face masks or shields without justification can be asked to leave.

Face masks or shields are required in the following situations in the healthcare and elderly care sectors:

  • At public and private hospitals and clinics, including regional hospitals and medical specialists and private hospitals, medical clinics and medical specialist clinics.
  • With independent therapists, including general practitioners, dentists, psychologists and physiotherapists.
  • In connection with municipal healthcare services requiring physical attendance, including dental clinics and rehabilitation facilities etc.
  • At care homes and assisted living housing, including municipal and private nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • At respite care facilities.
  • In connection with drug rehabilitation not offered at 24-hour care centres. 

The requirement to wear a face mask or shield only applies at premises open to the public.

The requirement normally applies to all persons aged 12 or more, including patients, visitors and employees. The following groups are fully exempt from the requirement:

  • Patients at hospitals etc.
  • Residents at care homes and in assisted living housing.
  • Citizens who are temporarily in respite care.
  • Staff and other persons staying in a closed room or behind a barrier screen for staff members only.
  • Persons with a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields. 

Persons who are otherwise required to wear a face mask or shield are allowed to remove their face masks or shields, fully or partly, if they have a good reason to do so. It could be in the following situations:

  • For reasons of treatment, such as a dentist treatment or throat examination.
  • For a short time while consuming food and drinks if such consumption is allowed at the relevant place.
  • To take medication.
  • During a conversation with a person who lip-reads.
  • If the face mask or shield causes respiratory problems or a sense of suffocation.
  • If the police want to verify someone's identity.
  • If children or young people or persons with a mental or physical impairment for various reasons need to be comforted or panic when wearing face masks or shields.

If, in exceptional cases, a patient, citizen or visitor has not brought a face mask or shield and the person cannot reasonably get a face mask or shield in the situation, the person can be given a face mask for the specific occasion free of charge.

Visitors who do not observe the requirement to wear a face mask or shield cannot be allowed access to hospitals etc., and visitors who fail to wear face masks or shields without justification can be asked to leave.

The management of the following foster care facilities and institutions for people with mental disorders or special needs etc. in the social care sector can decide that face masks or shields are required at the following premises open to the public:

  • Special day-care facilities and after-school clubs
  • Private rooms, halls of residence and similar residential facilities
  • Residential facilities for children and young people
  • Residential institutions, including secure units at residential institutions
  • Adult day-care facilities, such as sheltered workshops and activity and access facilities, including drop-in centres for people with particular social problems
  • Temporary and long-term institutions for people with mental disorders or special needs
  • Women's shelters
  • Care homes, shelters etc.
  • Facilities similar to institutions for people with mental disorders or special needs 

The managements of the above foster care facilities and institutions for people with mental disorders or special needs etc. must assess on an ongoing basis whether there is a need for introducing a requirement of face masks etc. 

In that case, the requirement normally applies to all persons aged 12 or more, including employees. The following groups are fully exempt from the requirement:

  • Residents and users of foster care facilities and institutions for people with mental disorders or special needs etc.
  • Staff and other persons staying in a closed room or behind a barrier screen for staff members only.
  • Persons with a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields. 

Persons who are otherwise required to wear face masks or shields are allowed to remove their face masks or shields, fully or partly, if they have a good reason to do so. It could be in the following situations:

  • For a short time while consuming food and drinks if such consumption is allowed at the relevant place.
  • To take medication.
  • During a conversation with a person who lip-reads.
  • If the face mask or shield causes respiratory problems or a sense of suffocation.
  • If the police want to verify someone's identity.
  • If children or young people or persons with a mental or physical impairment for various reasons need to be comforted or panic when wearing face masks or shields.

If, in exceptional cases, a visitor has not brought a face mask or shield and the person cannot reasonably get a face mask or shield in the situation, the person can be given a face mask for the specific occasion free of charge.

Visitors who do not observe the requirement to wear a face mask or shield cannot be allowed access to the foster care facility or institution for people with mental disorders or special needs etc., and visitors who fail to wear face masks or shields without justification can be asked to leave.

People taking practical driving tests, guiding driving tests to assess health issues or final driving tests in vehicles together with other passengers must wear face masks or shields.

No face masks or shields are required at driving theory tests.

Persons with a reduced level of consciousness or a physical or mental weakness or the like that makes them unable to wear face masks or shields are exempt from the requirement to wear personal protective equipment.

It is allowed to remove a face mask or shield, fully or partly, during driving tests etc. if there is a good reason to do so. If a person fails to wear a face mask or shield without justification, the driving-test examiner can refuse to go through with the test.

The driving instructor must inform his or her pupils of the requirement to wear a face mask or shield before the driving test.

Please note that currently the police only conduct driving tests and driving theory tests for heavy vehicles.