(Mar. 9, 2021) On March 2, 2021, the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) established a new parliamentary committee, the Epidemic Committee (Epedimiudvalget). The committee is tasked with reviewing the use of power by the Danish government under the newly adopted Epidemics Act, which entered into force on March 1, 2021. The Epidemics Act gives the Danish government, through responsible ministers, the power to seal off public areas, limit the size of private gatherings, and prohibit the use of public transportation, among other measures. It also empowers the minister of health to issue rules on personal measures, including the use of face masks, to prevent transmission of disease.
In addition to reviewing the powers the government uses under the Epidemics Act, the committee is also authorized to oversee the government’s work in the sphere of epidemics through the use of parliamentary control functions, including consultation meetings with the responsible minister(s), written questions to the minister(s), committee hearings and expert meetings, and field trips. Moreover, members of the committee are responsible for reviewing proposals for new legislation or amendments of current laws related to the current coronavirus pandemic as necessary.
As of March 9, 2021, Denmark has reported 215,791 confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with 2,381 deaths from the disease.