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New Measures from 18 March 10:00 AM

Denmark not quite on lockdown – yet. Two press meetings yesterday confirmed that the Danish society is based on trust and it is all the time a balance between showing this trust and acting quickly.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

If you are new to the Danish society this may not be reassuring to you, however, the Danish authorities still believe that Danes will listen and do as they are told, because Danes in general trust that the authorities are doing the right thing and that measures are taken because they are necessary to adhere too.

The head of the Danish Police, Rigspolitichef Thorkild Fogde, said it clearly at the press meeting transmitted yesterday at 19:00 when the new measures were presented which still allow people to move around freely.

“In general, we find that our citizens have been listening to what has been said and are following the measures of keeping their distance and not gathering in large crowds.

But, of course, we know that some do not, as in other matters of the law, a minority do not follow the rules, that is of course the reason why we have a police force.”

Several of the new measures will be enforced by the police amongst them the no gatherings of more than 10 people indoors or outdoors and the closing of all eateries, cafes, bars, pubs and nightclubs until 30 March. Take away is still allowed.

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Questioned about how the police would handle this, would they break into peoples homes and so, the answer was:

“We will of course do what is necessary but in our usual way, which is to talk to people and to explain calmly that what they are doing is not OK, and if they do not listen, we will close the party and send people home, or close the café, who does not respect that they must close.”

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen stressed that it is a political choice how tough the measures have to be, they are based on all the advice and knowledge of the people gathered from all the public institutions ( health, police, business etc), but at the end of the day, it is a political decision, the decision of her government.

The Danish Government has chosen the stance: It is better to act too quickly, better to take measures that are too strong than not strong enough.

Therefore, she did not promise that it would stop with these new measures, as it will all depend on whether they are enough.

She spoke especially to the young citizens, which the Danish Queen also did in her speech an hour later, both of them stressed that even if young people are not in the risk group, they potentially can be carriers of the virus and spread it without knowing they are doing so.

” You must help break the chain of spread now!”

She underlined once again that the chain of spread must be stopped, and that it is a race against time to do so.

However, Danes are still allowed to move around freely and Mette Frederiksen also stressed that fresh air and a walk are important also for the mental health, just not in a group and by continuing to respect the measure of distance of at least one meter or more.

It became clear at the press meeting that the Danish Government will not hesitate to take further measures and to do so quickly, if need be.

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New Measures from 10:00 am the 18 March:

No more than 10 people gathered at the same time indoors or outdoors and please respect this also when you do private gatherings – indeed consider if you need to meet at all

All shopping malls  and department stores to close except the food selling part

All eateries and coffee shops, bars and pubs to close except for take away

All hair dressers, massage centers, sun centers and those making tattoos are to close

All shops to ensure that people can stand with distances and that there are washing and disinfecting facilities available (there will be floor stickers to help understand the distance required and shop keepers are to help impose that distance measures are respected

Dentists have announced that they are closing for all patients that are not immediately requiring it

The Foreign Office informed that it was doing its utmost to help Danes stranded abroad, and once again stressed that it is advising against travel at all, as the world is closing down in more and more places, increasing hourly the risk of stranding.

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