Denmark COVID surge leads to school closures, nightlife curbs

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 09 2021 06:40 AM

Nightlife guests crowd in front of the
Nightlife guests crowd in front of the "Rumors" Nightclub on Noerregade street in Copenhagen during the night between September 2 and 3, 2021, as Denmark lifted restrictions amid the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. Denmark will lift all of its Covid-19 restrictions by September 10, health officials announced, saying the virus no longer posed "a threat to society" due to the country's broad vaccination coverage. Olafur Steinar Gestsson / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP

COPENHAGEN - Denmark will close schools, curtail nightlife and urge citizens to work from home to try to stem surging coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Wednesday.

The authorities will add "a few days" extra on either side of the Christmas school holidays, she said.

The holidays will now run from December 15 to January 5, instead of December 17 to January 3.

"The plan is not to have a long closure," she added. "We know how important being in school is for the well-being of children."

Bars and restaurants should close at midnight from Friday, and the sale of alcohol will be forbidden after that hour.

Frederiksen recommended that people work from home.

"I know that for many it will be an unwelcome return to the home office... But right now, it's deemed necessary," she said.

Henrik Ullum, the head of the Danish authority for the control of infectious diseases, said the situation was "extremely serious".

He said the advent of the new Omicron variant was "disagreeable... as it has spread across the word fast".

Denmark on Wednesday recorded 6,629 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, at least 2,000 more than during the worst daily caseload in the country in December last year.

After living without coronavirus restrictions for about two months, the country last month reintroduced the Covid pass and mandatory face masks.

It has counted 577 confirmed cases of Omicron, after first recording the strain on its soil on November 22.

Denmark, with a population of 5.8 million, has recorded 2,986 Covid deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to an AFP tally.

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© Agence France-Presse

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