’One metre, but two when possible’: Denmark changes social distance recommendation

’One metre, but two when possible’: Denmark changes social distance recommendation
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish Health Authority has updated its recommendations on how to maintain an effective social distance as a measure to protect against the spread of coronavirus.

The authority on Friday updated its guidelines to the public to help prevent spreading the coronavirus, thereby helping to keep the Covid-19 pandemic under control in Denmark.

For social distancing, the guidelines now more closely resemble those used in the earlier stages of the pandemic in Denmark: keep a one-metre distance from others when outside of your home bubble.

When there is a heightened risk of infection, the distance should still be two metres, the authority also advises.

Other new advice relates to frequently airing indoor spaces.

“We now have better knowledge that droplet infection has more significance from person to person than contact infection from surfaces and things touched by many people,” Danish Health Authority deputy director Helene Bilsted Probst said in a statement.

“Focus should therefore be on not being together with too many people, keeping a distance and keeping air fresh. The various recommendations naturally supplement each other, and it is advice we should stick to,” Probst added.

Good control of the pandemic nevertheless enables recommendations to revert to the less-strict minimum one-metre social distancing, the authority says in its statement. Two metres is still advised “when possible”, however.

Singing, shouting, exercise, and other physically strenuous activities are among those in which the two-metre distance should be retained.

People at risk of more serious disease outcomes should they be infected with the virus should also follow the two-metre guideline for distance from others.

The updated recommendations are based on new knowledge about Covid-19 based on Danish and international experience with infection prevention, current risk assessments and revision of international recommendations.

The six recommendations published by the Danish Health Authority on Friday follow below. Many have remained unchanged throughout the pandemic.

  • Keep a two-metre social distance where possible and one metre at all times. Avoid handshakes, kissing and hugging
  • If you experience Covid-19 symptoms, stay home and get tested for the coronavirus
  • Allow air flow through indoor spaces and avoid gathering in large numbers at home
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Wash hands often or use disinfectant
  • Clean regularly, particularly surfaces many people touch.

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