In brief: The recommendations for lifting Denmark’s lockdown

In brief: The recommendations for lifting Denmark’s lockdown
Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark’s Ministry of Health has published recommendations for lifting the country’s current coronavirus restrictions after receiving an expert group report based on mathematical modelling.

The government is scheduled to announce its plans for the gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday and has stated that reopening will be based on expert recommendations using mathematical modelling of future epidemic scenarios.

The recommendations were published by the Ministry of Health late on Monday.

Key points in the expert group’s report include recommendations that ‘large parts’ of the retail sector can be opened, as can outdoor activity in organisations like sports clubs.

Older school students may be allowed to return in regions with lower infection rates.

A summary of the main recommendations follows below.

Retail

Shops with an area of up to 5,000 square metres that sell durable goods could be allowed to reopen, according to the recommendations. This would be with restrictions on the number of customers per square metre.

Stores which are part of shopping malls are not encompassed by the recommendation.

Outdoor clubs

Organised outdoor activity – such as with sports clubs, for example – could be allowed to resume under the new recommendations.

Cultural institutions could also be allowed to reopen for outdoor activity, possibly with a requirement for participants to show a negative Covid-19 test.

The current maximum limit on public assembly of five persons could be increased to 20 for activities that fall into these categories (but not in general), according to the recommendations.

The exact cultural institutions which would be encompassed are not specified in the report.

Schools

The expert group report recommends that older students at elementary schools and at upper secondary schools be allowed to return in specified regions only. These regions are North Jutland, West Jutland and Baltic Sea island Bornholm.

Currently, schools are opened nationally, but only for grades 0-4.

The reopening for older age groups will also be limited, should the recommendations be followed precisely.

For example, students at upper secondary schools (gymnasier in Danish) in North and West Jutland would be allowed to return with 50 percent attendance, and students and teachers would be required to take a coronavirus test twice weekly. On Bornholm, full attendance is recommended provided testing is carried out twice a week.

Youth residential schools (efterskoler) in the two Jutland regions will be allowed to operate with full attendance and special infection prevention measures, under the recommendations.

Further reopening would not take place until after the Easter holiday on April 6th, according to the expert report. That would depend on a review of infection trends following the easing of restrictions in March.

Prior to announcing a finalised plan tomorrow, the government will discuss prospective decisions with leaders of the other parties on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Denmark to present plan for ‘gradual’ lifting of restrictions


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