“I went out to buy food and I’m shocked to see people getting close to each other when walking in the street, stopping at traffic lights, and inside shops,” complained Fernando Nicolella.
“It’s looks like they are not aware of 1.5m to 2m social distance. Do we need to get into a situation like Italy or Spain for people to wake up?”
Anne Hauge, Secretary General of the pro-European movement Europabevægelsen, tweeted her anger after passing a packed park in Frederiksberg on Saturday.
“I was taking a walk, alone, keeping my distance, and I saw people gathering in Frederiksberg in large groups and some of them were having a picnic,” she told The Local. “To me it looked as if people were having a vacation.”
“Is it more important to drink your cafe latté with your friends than people losing them job, or losing their life because of this?”
Health Minister Magnus Heunicke warned on Monday that people were “taking it too easy”.
Stickers and signs have since begun to appear in Danish supermarkets and other institutions reminding people to keep their distance from one another, which may be starting to have an effect.
Stickers imposed at the Super Brugsen supermarket on Tuesday. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix
There seemed to be fewer people out on the streets and in parks on Monday and Tuesday.
Professor Michael Bang Petersen, a researcher in infectious psychology at the University of Aarhus told Danish state broadcaster DR that it was unsurprising that young people took the restrictions less seriously.
“When you are young, the risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus is not very high. Therefore, the benefits of following the guidelines are small while the costs are very high,” he explained.
“As a young person, you want to be with your friends and kiss, hug, party and go to town. There are probably not too many elderly people who want to go to a disco anyway.”
He said the government couldn't expect young people to watch ministerial press conferences, or check for information on government websites, and commended them for using influencers like 23-year-old Alexander Husum, who made a joint post to his 383,000 followers with the Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
“There has to be moral condemnation where it becomes the common belief that you are a dirty person if you are helping spread the infection, and it is clearly most effective if young people moralize to young people,” he said.
Tommy Holst, a youth worker in Odense, told DR he expected it to be difficult to convince young people to continue to adhering to the restrictions as the weeks go on.
“When the kids start getting bored, there will be a natural need to see others,” he said.