How will Denmark’s partial lockdown affect Christmas celebrations?

How will Denmark’s partial lockdown affect Christmas celebrations?
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix
Danish health authorities have said that current coronavirus restrictions and recommendations will impact Christmas celebrations for many in the country.

A partial lockdown in 38 different municipalities, including Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and parts of Zealand is to take effect in Denmark from Wednesday this week.

In addition to closures of businesses, education and cultural and sporting facilities, the lockdown, alongside continuation of existing restrictions, will impact the way Christmas is celebrated, officials said as they announced the intervention on Monday.

The restrictions will take effect from Wednesday December 9th and remain in place until January 3rd 2021.

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In addition to the partial lockdown, the current national recommendation to limit private gatherings to 10 people will remain in place over Christmas and New Year.

That means authorities are strongly encouraging people across the country not to spend Christmas with more than 10 people, as well as to maintain a social distance from those they do not live with.

“It won’t be the same Christmas Eve as we are used to. But it’s okay to see our loved ones on Christmas Eve, even if we haven’t seen them for a long time. But we should remember to keep a social distance,” Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm said on Monday.

“It’s okay to do this. But be cautious,” he said, adding he recommended people in risk groups wear a face mask during festive family gatherings.

READ ALSO: Danish study finds no clear evidence face masks protect wearer from Covid-19 infection

The Danish Health Authority has also published guidelines to prevent against infection spread over the Christmas period, reinforcing Brostrøm’s advice.

“It’s important that we, including at Christmas time, keep trying not to pass on infection,” the authority’s vice director Helene Probst said in a press statement.

“That might be hard, because it’s a time when we have a lot of traditions that can be hard to change. But I hope these recommendations will give some inspiration so that we can look after each other as well as possible,” she continued.

The recommendations include the aforementioned 10-person limit, as well as maintaining a two-metre distance around the table and while dancing around the Christmas tree.

“You can dance around the Christmas tree and sing with the people you live with, but you should keep a two-metre distance from others,” the guidelines state.

“If several households meet for Christmas, think about dancing around the Christmas tree in several turns, taking turns singing, or humming,” the recommendations also state.

There are no restrictions on travel between different regions of the country.

But Danish authorities on Monday requested (rather than ordered) that people living in municipalities affected by the lockdown do not travel to neighbouring municipalities to do things which are currently closed to them locally.

That includes going to bars, restaurants, cinemas or any other places which are closed or restricted in the municipality in which you live.

As such, the partial lockdown could impact planned Christmas social activities.

“If you live in Copenhagen, you can go to your summer house in Odsherred [municipality in northwest Zealand outside of lockdown, ed.]. But you should not go to the cinema in Odsherred,” Brostrøm said.

READ ALSO: My five favourite Danish childhood Christmas memories


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