Tests for COVID-19

To prevent the spread of infection, it is important that you take a PCR test in case of COVID-19 symptoms or if you have been in close contact with an infected person. This also applies if you have been vaccinated or previously infected.

Updated: 19. January 2022

Read more about the current test recommendations for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated citizens as well as about test requirements in connection with the corona passport.

By using a test for a valid corona passport in Denmark you need a negative PCR test taken within the last 72 hours or a rapid antigen test taken within the last 48 hours.

This page is being updated

New rules for self-isolation

The Danish Ministry of Health has announced new rules for when you can stop your self-isolation. This page is being updated.

Read more here (in danish).

Which test should you use?

There are different types of tests. The Danish Health Authority always recommends taking a PCR test if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a person infected with new coronavirus. Regardless of vaccination status.

The Danish Health Authority always recommends that you – regardless of vaccination status – are tested with a PCR-test in the following situations:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • If you have been in close contact with a person infected with new coronavirus
  • If you have received a positive rapid test or self-test

You should consider using a rapid test in any other situation.

Rapid testing is an important screening tool and a good tool for reducing infection. A quick test can be a good idea if you need a green corona passport.

  • If you can’t avoid being with many people
  • For the test on day 0 at the schools

Important! It is recommended that you take a PCR test as soon as possible in the case of a positive rapid test to confirm the result.

In addition to PCR tests and rapid tests, there are several types of CE marked self-tests. A self-test can be a good idea if you want to be tested for safety – for example before a big party, or if you cannot avoid being with many people.

Other situations where you can use a self-test:

  • If you are meeting a person who is at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19
  • If you need a day 0 test at schools

NOTE: A negative self-test does not provide a green corona passport.

Self-tests can for example be purchased at the pharmacy.

Self-tests are offered to pupils in the primary schools as a supplement to the established municipal testing system.

Important! It is recommended that you take a PCR test as soon as possible in the case of a positive self-test to confirm the result.

Find testcentre

Two types of free tests are used in the public test system – PCR tests and rapid antigen tests. Find the nearest test centre on the map.

Symptoms

Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should always follow the recommendations for self-isolation and PCR testing as soon as possible.

This also applies if you have previously been infected and / or have been fully vaccinated, as there is still a risk that you may become infected and ill with COVID-19.

The typical symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Loss of sense of taste and smell
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat

Current test recommendations

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should always follow the recommendations to self-isolate and get a PCR test as soon as possible. This also applies, if you are previously infected and/or vaccinated, as there is still a risk that you may become infected and ill with COVID-19.

The typical symptoms are: fever, dry cough, loss of sense of taste and smell, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle pain and sore throat.

If you have been in contact with an infected person

If you have been in contact with an infected person, you can either be what we call a 'close contact' or an 'other contact'. 

There is different test recommendations whether you are a 'close contact' or an 'other contact'. 

Find more information at the Danish Health Authority:

Close contact and 'other contact' (sst.dk)

In nursing homes and when taking care of the elderly

If you work in a nursing home or in general care of the elderly and have been vaccinated or previously infected, you are encouraged to take a PCR test once a week. Staff who have not been vaccinated or previously infected are encouraged to take a PCR test twice a week. Substitutes etc. in geriatric care who are unable to comply with these recommendations are encouraged to take an antigen self-test before each work day.

If you are visiting elderly people in nursing homes etc. you must have a valid corona passport.

In addition, the following persons are exempt from the requirement: Children under the age of 15, close relatives, guardians, personal representatives and lawyers etc., volunteers or persons delivering goods or services to the place in question.

Visitors who are exempt from the corona passport requirement are encouraged to take a test prior to visiting regardless of vaccination status.

For schoolchildren

School children from 1st grade onwards are encouraged to be tested twice a week. Even if they are vaccinated or previously infected.

If it is less than 12 weeks ago that the child was tested positive for COVID-19, it does not need to be tested, as it can still test positive during this period.

School children who become other contacts are recommended to have an antigen test (possibly self-test) taken on the 0th day, and an antigen test (possibly a self-test) on the 4th day.

Other contacts that have been previously infected within the last 12 weeks are not recommended to be tested.

Use this guide if you have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19

For school staff

Employees in primary school and in day care are encouraged to be tested twice a week. Even if they are vaccinated or previously infected. You do not need to test if it is less than 12 weeks since you have been infected with COVID-19, as you can continue to test positive during this period. There may also be health reasons why you should not be tested.

Youth and adult education

There is a request for two weekly screening tests for students, course participants and participants in youth and adult education. Even if you have been vaccinated or previously infected. If it is less than 12 weeks since you were tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need to be tested as you can still test positive during this period.

Students, course participants, participants and employees who are identified as other contacts are encouraged to have a quick test (possibly self-test) taken immediately and a quick test (possibly self-test) on the 4th day after the last contact with the infected person.

The request to test of other contacts applies to all students, course participants, participants and employees. However, other contacts that have been infected within the last 12 weeks are excluded.

test for kids

Test recommendations for children

Learn more about the recommendations for weekly screening tests in primary school and testing of close contacts.

positive COVID-19 test

What you should do if you are infected

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate as soon as possible, including from those you live with.

Close contact

If you are a close contact

Have you been in contact with an infected person? Read more about how to deal with testing and isolation if you are in close contact with an infected person.

Negative COVID-19 test as corona passport

To access for restaurants, nightlife, cultural venues, hospitals, nursing homes and more, you need a corona passport.

If you are not vaccinated or previously infected (within the last 6 months) you need a negative PCR-test. See the test requirements here:

See the full list places where corona passport is required

You can use a negative test as proof, if the test took place within the past 48 hours with a rapid antigen test or within 72 hours with a PCR test. 

You can use a negative test as proof, if the test took place within the past 48 hours with a rapid antigen test or within 72 hours with a PCR test.

FAQs

Questions and answers about testing

There are three types of tests: a PCR test, a rapid antigen test and an antibody test.

Read more about the different types of test (sst.dk)

PCR test
The PCR test is the most sensitive test, with a 90-95% confidence interval in detecting whether a person is infected with COVID-19. It should always be used if you:

  • have symptoms of COVID-19
  • are a close contact of someone infected

A PCR test usually produces a result the following day. The test result only provides a snapshot, so it is important that you continue to comply with the infection prevention measures, even if you receive a negative test result.

Rapid antigen test

Rapid antigen tests are not quite as sensitive as the PCR test, but provide a test result within 15-30 minutes.

They can be used as an alternative to PCR tests for broader infection detection among people who are at less risk of having been infected.

For example, they can be useful for those who have to physically attend a workplace where they need to be tested regularly. They can also be useful as a precautionary measure in situations where the spread of infection can have more serious consequences, for example among nursing home staff or schoolchildren and students.

They may also be used among selected groups of the population where there is a particularly high level of spread of infection, or in specific occupations where there is a known risk of spreading infection.

As with the PCR test, rapid antigen tests only provide a snapshot. It is therefore important that you continue to comply with the infection protection recommendations, even if you receive a negative test result.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone who is infected, you should always take a PCR test.

Antibody tests

Antibody tests can detect whether you have previously been infected with COVID-19. They are primarily used for research purposes and are not part of the public testing system.

In order to control the pandemic, it is essential that infected people are found as quickly as possible so that they can self-isolate and their close contacts can be tested. You can help break the chain of infection when you are tested.

The general rule is that you should take a PCR test as soon as possible:  

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you are a close contact of someone infected.
  • If you are defined as ‘other contact’, for example by the COVID-19 tracing app. You can take either a rapid antigen test or a PCR test.

If you are not fully vaccinated and are in contact with other people, for example as part of your job, you should be tested frequently. Depending on the specific job, you should be tested 1 to 2 times a week. You may also be required to take a test prior to an appointment at a hospital.

To get a PCR-test you need to book an appointment at coronaprover.dk.

If you do not have a Danish social security number, you need to register at covidresults.dk to get a PCR test and see your test result.

You can find test centres here:

Find COVID-19 test center

You do not need to make an appointment to have a rapid antigen test.

You can read more about booking requirements by clicking on a specific test centre on the map of Denmark.

If your rapid antigen test result is positive, you must self-isolate immediately. You must also identify the people you have been in close contact with and whom you may have infected.

You can get help with this from Coronaopsporingen (corona tracing) by calling +45 32 32 05 11.

It is also recommended that anybody who has had a positive rapid antigen test should take a PCR test.

If your PCR test is positive, you are infected with COVID-19. You should immediately self-isolate to avoid infecting others. This also means that you should keep your distance from people you live with. This also applies if you do not have symptoms of the disease.

In addition, you will receive a letter in your e-Boks from the Danish Patient Safety Authority.

If you do not have a Danish social security number, you will receive a message at covidresults.dk.

Coronaopsporingen will contact you within 24 hours and help you trace your close contacts, i.e. the people you may have infected. You can also call Coronaopsporing yourself on +45 32 32 05 11.

If you develop mild to moderate flu-like symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated against COVID-19, you don’t need to be tested before returning to work.

However, you should generally continue to be tested if you are a close contact of someone infected with or if you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if you have been vaccinated. If you work in a nursing home or in general care of the elderly you should also take a PCR-test once a week even though you are vaccinated.