Denmark extends coronavirus lockdown to entire country

Denmark extends coronavirus lockdown to entire country
People queue at a mobile Covid-19 test centre in Denmark on December 12th. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
Every one of Denmark’s 98 municipalities will come under the country’s ‘partial lockdown’ coronavirus restrictions from Wednesday December 16th.

The partial lockdown restrictions were introduced last week, initially in 38 municipalities before a further 31 were added on Friday. They will now come into effect nationwide.

The expansion of the partial lockdown was confirmed by transport minister Benny Engelbrecht.

“It is really serious now. Corona has far too much of a grip on Denmark,” Engelbrecht write in a Facebook post.

“Infection rates are too high and the number of hospitalisations is rising. Far too much. That’s why we are now extending the partial lockdown to the entire country,” he added.

Local authorities were informed of the decision by health minister Magnus Heunicke earlier on Tuesday.

The lockdown takes effect in the 29 hitherto-excluded municipalities, which are mostly located in North Jutland and South Jutland, at 4pm on Wednesday.

Under the restrictions, restaurants, bars, cafes, gyms, sports centres and swimming pools are required to close. Restaurants and cafes are allowed to operate takeaway services. Professional sport is exempted from the restrictions.

Indoor areas at amusement parks, zoos, aquariums and similar types of attractions, as well as at museums, theatres, cinemas and libraries, are also closed to the public.

School children from 5th grade upwards in the affected municipalities are sent home, with classes to take place online. The same restriction applies to all adult and further education, including upper secondary schools (gymnasier) and universities. Exams will take place, but will be moved online wherever possible.

Public sector workers not in critical functions must work from home.

The restrictions are set to remain in place until January 3rd 2021.

Anders Beich, head of the Danish College of General Practitioners, called on Tuesday for restrictions on travel between different regions of Denmark, given the particularly serious nature of the current infection rate in Copenhagen.

“It would be really bad to spread the capital’s infections to the rest of the country, and that can’t be avoided if there’s travel across the country,” Beich told DR.

“We know that geographical containment is a very good strategy. We saw it in North Jutland when infections started getting out of control there and we said people should stay in their own municipalities,” he added.

The Copenhagen city government’s head of health and social care Sisse Marie Welling meanwhile called for everyone in the capital to “cancel all arrangements, stay at home, if you can work from home, then do so. Isolate as much as possible so it’s possible to go home and see your parents for Christmas.

Copenhagen Municipality has registered 5,167 cases of Covid-19 in the last seven days, giving it an infection rate of 822.1 per 100,000 residents, the highest in Denmark. Neighbouring Frederiksberg and other parts of greater Copenhagen trail very closely behind, official data shows.

Nationally, 2,992 new infections were registered on Tuesday, only the second time in the last six days the figure has been under 3,000. The test positivity rate is 3.33.

439 people are currently admitted to hospital with the coronavirus. During the spring wave, that figure peaked at just over 500.

READ ALSO: Where are Denmark’s coronavirus hotspots?


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