“This will mean that it is possible to put in place measures earlier if the infection rates rise locally,” the ministry said in a press release announcing the change.
Under the new lowered thresholds, which come into force on Monday, municipalities need to bring in special infection reduction measures if they have more than 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, rather than 500 today, while in parishes, the limit has been dropped from to 800 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, from 1,000.
There are currently 17 municipalities where infection rates exceed these thresholds, including the Copenhagen suburbs of Ishøj, Hillerød, Ballerup, Glostrup, and Gentofte, and the Aarhus satellite town of Skanderborg.
The decision was taken on the recommendation of Denmark’s Epidemic Commission after Denmark’s parliament last week voted to reclassify Covid-19 as a critical threat to society.
The local infection control measures will not, however, be as far-reaching as the local lockdowns imposed when municipalities or parishes crossed the threshold during earlier Covid-19 waves when schools and offices were ordered to close.
Since the old system of local lockdowns expired on September 1st, the government has drawn up a list of less restrictive measures that municipalities and parishes can bring in.
These measures include:
- encouraging students to stick with their classes during school breaks
- cancelling major social events which mix classes in schools
- limiting events such as class parties, birthdays to one class
- keeping distance between school staff, parents, and others.
- parents dropping off and picking up kindergarten pupils outside their institution (and not coming in).
Here is the list of the municipalities which are likely to exceed the new thresholds when they come into force on Monday, according to figures reported by the SSI infectious diseases agency: