COVID-19 FAQs for Spring Semester 2021 DIS Copenhagen Students

DIS Copenhagen - Resources for Carleton Students

Last update: February 24, 2021

This page is for DIS Copenhagen students. DIS Stockholm students please click here.

DIS is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Denmark. We hope you will find these responses to frequently asked questions useful – otherwise please contact us at DIS@DISabroad.org or 800-247-3477. We will continue updating this page regularly and will also notify enrolled students of significant updates via email.

When will DIS students be able to enter Denmark?

The restriction temporarily preventing entry into Denmark for several categories that had previously been allowed to enter under ‘worthy purpose’ exceptions to the COVID-19 travel ban – including visiting students – is currently in place until April 5.

DIS is in regular contact with Danish immigration authorities and local universities in order to closely track any relevant updates, and we will of course update enrolled students and their home universities as soon as we have news about when and whether visiting students will again be able to enter Denmark.

Your faculty and DIS staff are eager to welcome you to Copenhagen as soon as possible, but we hope you also understand that we cannot predict or control Danish government decisions, and we are so grateful for your flexibility and resilience.

What does life in Copenhagen look like right now?

Denmark’s early and austere response to the first COVID-19 wave in the spring of 2020 allowed the country to re-open most of society in the summer and fall. In response to the second wave in the fall, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced new restrictions including a mask mandate; limiting and eventually closing restaurants/cafés/bars, gyms, museums and other cultural attractions, schools and non-essential retail stores; and moving all university classes online. In early January, Denmark further tightened border restrictions due to concerns about the new COVID-19 variants in Denmark.

In late February, amidst very low COVID-19 case numbers, authorities announced a partial re-opening of society, including some shops, schools, and cultural attractions; and an increased outside gathering limit. The border restriction limiting visiting student entry remains in place until April 5.

Please read more about Scandinavia’s response to COVID-19 here.

Social Life

Despite restrictions and recommendations limiting social gatherings and venues, local students –

including at our Kollegiums – are still getting together to cook small group dinners, take walks with a coffee or hot chocolate, or play soccer in the parks. Our DIS students who arrived in early January (when DIS students could still enter Denmark) are hiking to see the Hidden Giants, visiting the Little Mermaid, and biking cobblestoned streets to see castles and find their favorite pastries to go. Follow their adventures on the DIS Student Blogs here.

Certain events and activities may be on hold, but life in Copenhagen continues with much to explore. You can count on more details, resources, and recommendations for connecting with local communities after your arrival.

Mask-Wearing

In Denmark, mask-wearing has become commonplace. Masks are required in all indoor public places, and just like in the U.S., some locals wear a mask at all times in public, while others wear them only when required.

For local news coverage of COVID-19, check out these English language news sites:

The Local

The Copenhagen Post

For students already in Copenhagen:

This section is for the few Spring Semester 2021 students who entered Denmark before the latest border restriction was announced, or who have since entered thanks to their Danish citizenship.

What should I do if I’m feeling sick?

Stay home. Common COVID-19 systems include dry cough, high temperature, breathing difficulties, sore throat, headache, and muscle pain. Be sure to inform your faculty, as well as Academic Support (acadsupp@dis.dk) ahead of time if you will be missing class. If you need additional support or wish to get a COVID-19 test, please reach out to the Care Team (care@dis.dk).

What if I test positive for COVID-19, or if I’m exposed to someone who has tested positive?

DIS will support students in receiving all necessary testing and medical care, which is reimbursed through DIS insurance per our policy details. Students will be isolated and supported through their quarantine period, and facilities will be sanitized per local public health standards.

Any student who has been potentially exposed, or who tests positive, will be supported through the necessary testing, treatment, and self-quarantine protocols, including continuation of coursework from a distance.

Take a look at the DIS Copenhagen COVID-19 Flowchart for further information.

What if other people’s behavior makes me uncomfortable, or differs from my own choices related to COVID-19 prevention?

We acknowledge that people’s risk tolerance around COVID-19 will differ greatly. Some of you may struggle with, or have questions about, Denmark’s approach to COVID-19 after becoming accustomed to different approaches at home. We encourage you to be brave enough to ask hard questions and to carry out these conversations respectfully and mindfully. Be inquisitive, but not judgmental. Hold this sentiment close in your interactions with other students, staff, and faculty.

Other students may undertake behaviors that make you uncomfortable but are not a violation of DIS policy. Please approach these conversations directly and reach out to DIS for assistance in navigating any potential conflict.

If you see that your own decisions don’t match the decisions of others in the group, or if you hear from other students who fear that your decisions are putting them at risk, please be thoughtful and respectful. We are in this together and we each need to consider the impacts of our decisions.

Can I travel outside of Denmark?

No. DIS has decided that travel outside of Denmark is not allowed, as travel is known to contribute to spreading the virus and increasing exposure risk for you, other students, and your host community. Use your time abroad to connect with your local community and immerse yourself in Copenhagen.

Why? Today, as a result of the ban on U.S. tourists in the E.U., most students won’t be able to travel to other European countries anyway. Even if the E.U. travel ban for U.S. citizens is lifted, DIS does not plan to change our policy against international travel during the semester, because individual countries throughout Europe also have border policies changing frequently about which nationalities can/cannot enter, and who needs to quarantine upon arrival. The DIS policy will prevent you from getting stuck elsewhere in Europe where DIS would be unable to support you through a quarantine or illness and will avoid any need to quarantine during DIS class weeks as a result of European travel.

DIS also does not support international travel after your time at DIS. Should the COVID-19 situation and European travel regulations change and you choose to travel after your DIS semester, you do so without the support of DIS.

Can I have visitors from the U.S. while in Denmark?

No. Tourists from outside the E.U. are not currently allowed to enter most European countries, so do not plan to have family or friends visit you while abroad. Please know that in case of emergency (e.g. serious illness resulting from COVID-19), immediate family members can legally enter Denmark to be with you.

What will be required of me to be successful abroad during COVID-19?

Flexibility:

As in the U.S., conditions and recommendations are constantly changing as the public health community and leaders learn more about COVID-19. DIS will need to make adjustments – possibly with little to no warning – to recommended protocols, class schedules, field study destinations, etc. Please prepare to be flexible and understand that, at some point in the semester, you may need to stay home for a period of time as a result of illness, exposure, or a community lockdown. DIS is prepared to support you through any of these scenarios.

Respect and Compliance: In addition to the DIS Code of Student Responsibility, please be aware of these specific policies intended to make your semester as safe as possible under the current pandemic. All students have a shared responsibility to each other, to DIS faculty and staff, and to our local communities. This responsibility includes following these and any additional protocols announced during the semester:

  • Monitor any symptoms of illness throughout your time abroad. Stay home and seek medical care/COVID-19 screening if you experience a dry cough, high temperature, breathing difficulties, sore throat, headache, loss of taste/smell, and/or muscle pain. Use this flowchart in case of exposure or illness.
  • Do not travel outside Denmark
  • Report to DIS all overnight travel outside of Copenhagen by completing the Travel Registration located in DIS Online Registration
  • Follow local guidelines related to social distancing and maximum group size
  • Follow DIS guidelines regarding social distancing and maximum occupancy in spaces
  • Follow local medical guidance: get tested for COVID-19 when recommended, stay home from class or activities if you have COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate while awaiting a COVID-19 test or upon receiving a positive test result, etc.
  • Follow local guidelines and DIS direction regarding cleaning, sanitizing, mask wearing, and hand washing

Failure to comply with these rules and precautions is a violation of the DIS Code of Student Responsibility and could result in expulsion from DIS – but more importantly, we ask students to comply for the benefit of the community, even when no one is watching.

If a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available while I’m in Denmark, can I receive one?

Maybe. Like the U.S., Denmark is still determining how and when vaccines will be distributed to various segments of the population. If a vaccine becomes available in Denmark for your demographic group (e.g. based on risk category), vaccination would be covered by your insurance through DIS. Though a lot can change, current projections do not include general population vaccinations in either country before the summer.