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Is Denmark about to extend its partial lockdown?
Denmark's health minister has called his counterparts in other parliamentary parties to a meeting in the parliament, indicating that the country may be about to extend the current partial lockdown beyond January 3rd.
Published: 29 December 2020 10:00 CET
Staff at Selma restaurant in Copenhagen watch the press conference where the current lockdown was announced on December 7th. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Ritzau Scanpix
Magnus Heunicke will host the meeting of the health spokespeople of the country's parliamentary parties at around midday on Tuesday.
Peder Hvelplund, health chair for the Red Green Alliance, told Denmark's Ritzau newswire that he had received no additional information on what the meeting might be about.
“But I'm assuming that it will partly be about informing us about how it might be possible to extend the restrictions, and I've also asked that we should be able to discuss New Year's Eve,” he said.
Shopping centres, schools, restaurants and bars are currently closed across most of Denmark until January 3rd, but with the country on Monday registering a record 30 deaths due to coronavirus, and the number of people hospitalised tripling in a month, some or all of these restrictions are likely to be extended.
Previously meetings of the inter-party coronavirus group have been followed by a press conference where decisions taken have been announced.
Nils Strandberg Pedersen, former director of Denmark's SSI infectious diseases agency, told the TV2 broadcaster that he believed that the restrictions would be extended.
“I think they will extend all the restrictions. People from Christmas are only starting to get sick now, and then the infections will then come afterward from the New Year celebrations,” he said.
“Right now we have a hospital system that is really about to collapse,” he added. “It's quite serious and it cannot cope with very much more.”
Jan Pravsgaard Christensen, Professor of Immunology at Copenhagen University, said that he believed that primary schools might be reopened after January 3rd, but not much more.
Allan Randrup Thomsen, Professor of Virology at Copenhagen University, said he believed it would not be until May that sufficient people had been vaccinated for Denmark to be able to lift restrictions.
“As it looks now, we will unfortunately have to live with the restrictions for some time, probably four to five months,” he said.
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