‘Increasingly concerned’ Denmark signals new coronavirus restrictions

'Increasingly concerned' Denmark signals new coronavirus restrictions
Health minister Magnus Heunicke. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark’s health minister Magnus Heunicke has warned that the country will see new restrictions if Covid-19 infections do not slow in coming days.

Wednesday saw 630 new cases of the virus in Denmark, the second-highest ever daily total. The 630 cases came from 43,693 tests, a positive test rate of 1.4 percent.

READ ALSO: Danish coronavirus tests return more positive cases

Heunicke said the current situation with new confirmed cases was enough for authorities to consider intervention.

“The situation is such that we are seeing an increase (in cases) which is cause for strong concern. That, combined with developments in many European countries where some countries are reporting infections are out of control, means that now is the time (action) counts,” he said.

“The next two to three days will be decisive. I will not rule out any tightened restrictions or rules at all. We are following closely and authorities have increased alert levels,” he added.

Current restrictions in the Nordic country include a maximum assembly limit of 50 people and mandatory use of face masks on public transport and when standing in cafes and restaurants. Those measures are currently in place until October 31st.

“We are looking at the methods we know we know will work and that we see other countries are making use of,” Heunicke said.

“That means options such as reducing the assembly limit and of course the situation regarding face masks, where we in Denmark where face masks on public transport, at restaurants and at the doctor,” he continued.

READ ALSO: Denmark steps up coronavirus face mask recommendations

“We have the option of tightening things up there,” he said.

In a social media post, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also said she was “increasingly concerned” about the situation in Denmark and that she “could not rule out” new restrictions in the near future.

The limit on the amount of people allowed to gather was reduced to 10 during the spring, but Heunicke declined to give a specific figure for a potential new limit.

“There’s a fair bit of debate in Denmark about how much we should open up. I understand that. Many of us dream about opening more up. But we’re not in that situation at all,” he said.

“There’s nowhere in Europe where that discussion’s being had. On the contrary, the infection numbers are going the wrong way in Europe, including in Denmark,” he stated.

Current restrictions also require cafes, bars and restaurants to close at 10pm. Guests must wear face masks when they are standing and when they go to the bar, but not while they are sitting.


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