Danish police investigate businesses for breaching lockdown

Danish police investigate businesses for breaching lockdown
Salon LeOne is amongst businesses which opened on Monday in protest at lockdown rules, according to Ritzau. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix
A number of businesses were reported on Monday to have breached lockdown rules by reopening.

Owners of a number of stores had already declared they were planning to break with the current lockdown rules which require them to stay shuttered. They planned to reopen in protest at the lockdown, broadcaster DR reported.

As of Monday afternoon, police in Denmark have received 16 reports of illegally opened businesses and are responding to those reports, DR writes.

Two businesses have already been issued with fines.

“The two businesses which we found ourselves during patrols have been charged. We are currently investigating the 15 others,” National Police deputy police inspector Kim Erik Hansen told DR. The number of reported businesses increased from 15 to 16 after Hansen provided comment.

Lockdown rules enable authorities to issue fines of 10,000 kroner for businesses with up to 10 staff if they open in breach of the rules. Fines can increase in accordance with the number of employees.

The reported businesses are located primarily on Funen and Zealand and in Copenhagen, DR writes.

An interest organisation for small businesses in Denmark advised earlier on Monday companies not to break rules by reopening, amid rumours that a small number had planned to break with the lockdown.

“I distance myself clearly from (illegal reopening). It is never a solution to take the law into your own hands,” Jacob Brandt, CEO of SMVdanmark, told news wire Ritzau.

Although SMVdanmark is not in support of the action, Brandt said he had sympathy for small business owners who are hit hard by the current situation.

“It underlines how incredibly important it is that we see a plan from the government on when a reopening can be expected,” he said.

“Is it in 14 days or 2-3 months? And if reopening is a long way into the future, a new compensation and help package will be necessary and this must cover 100 percent of all business owners’ overheads,” he added.

The current national lockdown, which requires all shops not selling food or essential daily items to remain closed, is set to run until at least February 28th.

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