Denmark extends coronavirus lockdown a further fortnight

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Denmark extends coronavirus lockdown a further fortnight
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announcing the extension. Photo: Danish government/screen grab

Denmark is to extend its coronavirus lockdown for a further two weeks until April 13, the country's prime minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference on Monday.


In a statement issued alongside the conference, Denmark's government also asked Danes to continue to avoid social contact even over the Easter period between Good Friday (April 10) and Easter Monday (April 13).  "Cancel Easter lunch. Postpone family visits. Don't go sightseeing around the country," the statement read. 

During the press conference, Frederiksen conceded that many families would find this disappointing. 

"At Easter it will be difficult. It's a time when many families are used to meeting," she said. But she said the way Danes behaved over the holiday would have a significant impact.  

"The Easter holidays are really crucial," she said. "We have to slow down our activity at Easter." 

Frederiksen began the press conference by congratulating her compatriots on sharing a culture which had allowed her government to take such bold measures to safeguard the country against the virus, while doing what was necessary to keep the economy afloat.

"Now you see the value of the strong social contract we Danes have with each other," she said. "We have a strong democracy, and a united parliament has with three aid packages made sure that we continue supporting the Danish economy." 

At the press conference, Frederiksen listed the measures taken which would now be extended to April 13: 

  • Schools and kindergartens will remain closed
  • Nightclubs, bars, cafés, restaurants and theatres will remain closed
  • All indoor public cultural institutions such as churches, libraries, leisure facilities and other indoor activities will remain closed
  • Large shopping malls will remain closed
  • All hairdressers, tattooists and massage centres will remain closed
  • Public sector workers in non-critical roles will remain home 
  • The ban on gatherings of more than ten people will remain in place 
  • The requirement that Danes who return from abroad stay at home for two weeks will be kept in place. 
  • The call for all Danes not to travel aboard will remain in place. 


Søren Brostrøm, Director General of the Danish Health Authority said that that the government's epidemiologists now expected the epidemic to peak in about one month's time. 
"Today we have presented our risk assessment of the epidemic. We expect it to peak in four weeks," he said. "We are hoping for a long and flat curve, because we betting on the effect of the measures we have taken."
It is only now, he said, that there has been sufficient data available to make a prognosis. 



Comments (2)

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Anonymous 2020/03/31 16:10
When there is so little testing all numbers become "best guess" and there is no comprehensive picture of the extent of spread in the population. It is therefore difficult to speculate about when COVID19 numbers will peak. Likewise, if there is no real idea of how many people are infected, it is difficult to make responsible decisions about when to reopen the economy.
Anonymous 2020/03/23 20:57
Director General of the Danish Health Authority says he expects "it" to peak in 4 weeks. What does he mean by "it"? Number of new infections per day or total number of infections or number of active infected people?

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