Denmark extends assembly ban in popular Copenhagen areas

Denmark extends assembly ban in popular Copenhagen areas
A quiet Kødbyen on September 17th. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix
A ban on assembly in popular nightlife areas in Copenhagen has been extended by Danish authorities in a measure to slow the spread of coronavirus.

A total of 476 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in Denmark on Tuesday, continuing the trend of high infection numbers seen daily since last week, with over 400 new infections in each of the last seven days.

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Copenhagen Police have confirmed that assembly bans at the Kødbyen (Meatpacking District) and Nørrebroparken areas are to be extended until September 30th.

The assembly bans, which target social gatherings connected to nightlife, apply only between 10pm and 2am.

“We remain in a serious situation with high infection rates. It is therefore necessary to retain restrictions in the relevant areas so we can avoid people grouping together with higher risk of infection spread,” senior police officer Anne Tønnes said in a statement.

Kødbyen, in the Vesterbro district, is home to a large number of restaurants, bars and pubs, which are currently encompassed by a nationwide regulation requiring closure at 10pm and use of facemasks by customers.

READ ALSO: Is Denmark right to target its new restrictions on nightlife?

Meanwhile, police believe that Nørrebroparken is a likely spot for spontaneous, alternative gatherings which could pop up given indoor nightlife is currently closed.

“I would like to appeal for everyone to take responsibility and give the festivities a miss and go home when things close at 10pm,” Tønnes said.

In addition to localised assembly bans, police in the capital have also introduced so-called ‘warning zones’ (advarselszoner). These are areas commonly popular for social gathering and where police are therefore currently directing extra attention to ensure coronavirus assembly rules are adhered to.

These zones include Gothersgade near to Kongens Nytorv, where a large number of bars are located; harbourside area Islands Brygge; parts of the Fælledparken green area; Dronning Louises Bro, the bridge connecting the Inner City with Nørrebro; and Vestergade (Vesterbro), Göteborg Plads and Sandkaj (both Nordhavn).

Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed under current rules, although health authorities have recommended social contacts to be limited to as few people as possible.

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