Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
'We look forward to being allowed to open - on Monday!': A sign in a shop window in Aalborg. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix
Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Shops to reopen on Monday, but what to do with winter stock? 

The government announced yesterday that Covid-19 restrictions will be eased slightly from Monday. Smaller shops which sell durable goods are one sector which can look forward to operating again in March. Senior school classes in some regions will also see a (reduced capacity) return.

READ ALSO: Denmark announces easing of Covid-19 restrictions: Limited opening of schools and shops

Clothes shops returning to business face an unusual set of challenges given the impending change of season, broadcaster DR reports.

Stores have a huge back stock of winter clothes which they didn’t sell during the lockdown and are reopening as temperatures creep upwards towards double figures and the air is mild and dry.

A spokesperson for a clothing industry interest organisation told DR that it would be a “huge challenge” to sell winter stocks.

Other businesses to remain shut

Other businesses face arguably harder times following yesterday’s announcement. Customer-facing services like hair salons, gyms and masseurs are to remain shuttered, while cafes, bars and restaurants will continue to be limited to takeaway services.

READ ALSO: Which Covid-19 restrictions will stay in place in Denmark beyond March 1st?

Shortly after the March restrictions were announced yesterday, an interest organisation for the restaurant sector called for the government to give an idea of when it might be able to open again, even though it’s now clear this won’t be in March, financial media Finans reported.

A date would allow businesses in the industry to “apply for compensation so we have liquidity to get ready to open again,” Jacob Niebuhr of organisation Danmarks Restauranter & Caféer told Finans.

“When it’s possible to do this in England, where they’ve been harder hit, it should be possible to do it here,” Niebuhr also said in reference to a plan announced earlier this week by UK prime minister Boris Johnson, which charts a path out of lockdown for the UK with the target of an almost full reopening on June 21st.

READ ALSO: Denmark lifts UK entry ban but extends all other Covid-19 travel restrictions until April

Danish analysts find increased proportion of hospital admissions with B117 variant

The more infectious Covid-19 variant B117 – now the dominant form in Denmark – is 64 percent more likely to result in hospitalisation than infection with previous variants of the virus, according to analysis by Danish health authorities.

The variant now comprises around 60 percent of new infections with Covid-19 in Denmark, news wire Ritzau writes based on official data.

However, the vast majority of people who are infected with the variant only become mildly ill. Six percent of the 2,155 people infected with the variant in the Danish analysis were hospitalised.

There is also no evidence that the variant infects children more than other types, which is good news in light of schools reopening.

The national infectious disease agency, State Serum Institute, said in a statement that it does not know the reason behind the increased chance of hospitalisation with B117.

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