Denmark extends Covid-19 restrictions as new cases in Copenhagen drop

Denmark extends Covid-19 restrictions as new cases in Copenhagen drop
Officials at Wednesday's briefing wore new badges promoting social distancing. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix
Health minister Magnus Heunicke said on Wednesday that Denmark’s coronavirus situation is “going in the right direction” while extending current restrictions until the end of the month.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, officials praised the effect of public efforts with current restrictions, while confirming they would be extended to October 31st.

Face masks must therefore still be worn at all times on public transport and when standing in cafes and restaurants. Cafes and bars must close at 10pm and no more than 50 people may assemble at any one time.

The restrictions putting into place restrictions on assembly limits, cafes and nightlife have been in place since mid-September, while stepped up face mask recommendations were announced more recently.

Daily new cases of Covid-19 have stabilised at under 400 for the last five days, after reaching towards 600 and sometimes 700 in the latter part of last month.

On Wednesday, 331 new positive tests for Covid-19 were registered by the national State Serum Institute (SSI). 116 people are currently in hospital with the virus, 8 fewer than yesterday.

The reproduction rate or R-number for Denmark is currently 0.8, have been above 1 for several weeks. If the reproduction rate is higher than 1.0, the number of infected in a society will grow. If it is slightly below, the number will decline. 

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: New Danish cases at lowest level for one month, R-number back below 1

Heunicke said on Wednesday that cases in Copenhagen, one of the hotspots for the September wave, were notably on the way down.

“The trend is clear. There is a decrease in our capital,” he said according to DR.

Copenhagen Municipality has seen its rate of infections drop from 127 infections per 100,000 residents to 63 infections per 100,000 residents over the last week, the broadcaster reports.

Neighbouring Frederiksberg Municipality has seen a similar improvement, from 144 infections per 100,000 residents to 36 infections per 100,000 residents.

Authorities stressed the need to keep that trend steady and have therefore decided to keep the current national restrictions in place until the end of the month.

The Danish Health Authority recommends limiting social contacts during the upcoming autumn holidays, deputy director Helene Probst said at the briefing.

“We recommend that you take a break from everyday life, have fun at home and play board games” or take a walk in a nature spot, Probst said.

The general situation with the virus can quickly be changed by as much as a single party with a lot of virus transmissions, SSI technical director Kåre Mølbak said.

“We have an epidemic that can quickly pick up speed again, especially if there is a super-spreader event,” Mølbak said.

READ ALSO: Don't go trick or treating on Halloween this year, says Danish health service


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