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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen takes part in a virtual EU meeting. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
“We believe the restrictions announced on Friday, and introduced on Monday and Thursday, are sufficient to deal with the situation we are in. If that turns out not to be the case, the government is ready to introduce more restrictions,” she told the broadcaster TV2.
Denmark's new extended face mask requirement came into force on Thursday morning, as did a ban on shops selling alcohol after 10pm. On Monday, the maximum number of people Danes can meet with was reduced to ten.
There are early signs that the number of people infected in Denmark is starting to respond to tighter restrictions, with the number of people testing positive falling to 847 on Tuesday and 157 on Wednesday after peaking at a record-high 1,000 on Monday.
But Frederiksen said that the experience of other countries in Europe showed how quickly the situation can change for the worse.
“We are not standing on the edge of a second wave, we are in the middle of it and the situation is serious,” she said. “Just now the situation in Denmark is better than in many other European countries, but we can see when we look around how quickly it can go. It can be a question of a few days, whether you're in a leading position or right down at the bottom.”
She had recently sat in a virtual meeting with other European Union leaders where it was clear that several countries were losing control of the infection.
“I can also see that in Europe, that if you move too late, as some countries did in the spring, you will get many more infections and potentially many more deaths and that is something we do not want to see in Denmark.”
She underlined once again how serious a threat coronavirus is.
“I hear people say 'this is not a dangerous diseases, that it's only a type of influenza, that the government is overreacting, that this or that restriction is unnecessary, why don't we wait until we have more deaths and more infected'. This is a way of thinking that I don't think holds up against reality.”