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People at higher risk

Some people are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Most have a mild course of the disease, but some become so ill that they need to be hospitalised.

On being at higher risk

1. Those at higher risk

Whether you are at increased risk of a severe course of COVID-19 or not is always based on an individual assessment, and your entire situation must be taken into account.

However, someone who is very old and has several and severe chronic diseases is generally at higher risk than someone who only has a mild condition of chronic disease. Other social factors, such as your housing situation may also cause you to be at higher risk. 

People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Aged 80 years or older
It is well documented that you are at higher risk, regardless of whether you are fit and healthy or suffer from diseases and other conditions.
Aged between 65-79 years old
Many fit and healthy people in this age group are not at higher risk. However, chronic diseases or mental and physical illnesses may cause you to be at higher risk.
Under 65 years old
Very few are at higher risk. However, people in this age group with certain chronic diseases, a BMI of 35 or over, and/or with impaired immune systems are regarded as being at higher risk.
Some children and adolescents with chronic diseases
Those children who may be at higher risk are typically those who had to take special precautions even before the COVID-19 epidemic - for example, at school or daycare. Such children are usually in the care of specialists and will be given individual guidance.
Residents in nursing homes/assisted living facilities
Residents in nursing homes, etc. are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as they are often elderly and have chronic diseases, functional decline and fragile health. 
Pregnant women
Based on a precautionary principle, pregnant women and their unborn children are considered to be at higher risk.

If you are in doubt, please talk to your own doctor or the doctor who treats you about how your risk is assessed based on your overall situation.

 

2. Advice for those at higher risk

In general, you can do the things you did before the COVID-19 epidemic, such as go to work, participate in leisure activities and babysit your grandchildren. 

If you took special precautions before the COVID-19 epidemic to avoid becoming infected with infectious diseases, you should continue to take these precautions if you have a weakened immune system.

The Danish Health Authority recommends that people at higher risk: 

  • Please pay particular attention to our general guidance and ask others to show consideration. 
  • Use a face mask or visor in situations where it is mandatory and when it is not possible to keep 2 metres away from others.
  • Consider whether special measures need to be taken at your place of work.

The older you are – and the more and severe chronic diseases you have – the more careful you should be to follow the recommendations. But you must, of course, also take your quality of life into account when you introduce limitations into your life.

Contact your own doctor or primary treating physician if you are unsure how to deal with your overall situation.

Once you are fully vaccinated you do not have to take special precautions. Learn more in the section:

Fully vaccinated people

Further information

Guidance for people at higher risk

3. Advice for relatives of someone at higher risk

As the relative one of someone at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, it is perfectly natural to be worried.   

We recommend that you:

  • Please pay particular attention to our general guidance on how to prevent the spread of infection. Please help those you live with to follow the guidance - including children.
  • Look out for symptoms of COVID-19. Self-isolate immediately if you get symptoms – including mild symptoms. If you yourself are infected with novel coronavirus - or a close contact of someone who is infected - and live with someone who is at higher risk, you may be granted an out-of-home stay at a suitable facility. Please contact your municipality to learn more.

When you are with someone who is at higher risk and is not fully vaccinated – with whom you do not live or who is not part of your close circle of friends – you have to keep a distance of at least 2 metres. If this is not possible, for example if the person needs care or attention, you should consider wearing a factory-made, type I CE-marked face mask to protect that person.

You should also consider the wishes of the person at higher risk regarding whether he or she would like others to wear face masks.

If you as a relative have been vaccinated against COVID-19, it is still important that you follow the general guidance on how to prevent the spread of infection if the person at higher risk has now been vaccinated. No vaccine is 100% effective, and there is a small risk that you may become infected and ill with COVID-19 even if you are fully vaccinated. Furthermore, it has not yet been established whether vaccination prevents the vaccinated person from carrying the virus and spreading the infection to others

Further information

Guidance for people at higher risk

4. Once you are fully vaccinated

Vaccination provides added protection and reduces the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, you do not need to follow the special precautions usually recommended for people at higher risk.

The additional protection of vaccination allows you to:

  • behave like other fully vaccinated people, and you do not need to take special precautions, for example wear a face mask in private contexts
  • participate in activities where several other people are present, for example attend leisure activities
  • use public transport and go shopping at any time of day
  • return to your usual duties. You no longer have to be reassigned to other tasks. However, you should still not participate in the care or treatment of suspected or confirmed COVID-19-cases, for example in an A&E department or on a COVID-19 ward
  • Furthermore, relatives of someone at higher risk do not have to be reassigned to other tasks – if either the person at higher risk or the relative has been fully vaccinated.Please continue to follow with the general guidance on preventing infection even though the vaccine will protect you from becoming severely ill from COVID-19. 
Updated 21 APR 2021