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Coronavirus update: Measures extended until 13 April 2020

Denmark is now in week 3 of the epidemic and today Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced the prolongation of all measures already in place until after Easter.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

A serious looking Prime Minister was surrounded by 11 other members of government and public institutions when she started the press meeting by saying:

“It is now 12 days since the measures to reduce spread were put in place; some measures were implemented already a few days before the official start on 16 March.

In this period we (Editor’s note: citizens of Denmark) have changed our behaviour considerably, we keep our distance to other people and we stay at home, however, it is still too soon to say if these measures will work.

We need at least a further week to evaluate the results. I can only ask all of you one thing: stay patient.”

With this introduction the Prime Minister continued and said that as is evaluated now, the measures need more time, it is important that they are not stopped too soon and therefore they will be prolonged until the 13 April.

As the travel restrictions were already in place until 13 April, and many other European countries have measures in place that also last far into April, this did not come as a great surprise to the media present at the meeting.

Indeed, the Prime Minister underlined that Denmark of course is looking also at what the country’s neighbours are doing.

Easter is a concern for the Danish Government as it is important that the measures to contain the spread are maintained so that the epidemic becomes more spread out; Danes are famous for their Easter family gatherings and Easter lunches.

And many travel to open their summer cottages for the warm season during the five-day Easter break.

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Mette Frederiksen repeated that her citizens are NOT to travel abroad for Easter and that they should also NOT travel to their summer cottages in other parts of the country with the risk of bringing spread to areas where the coronavirus is not that present.

Questioned whether she would impose an inter-Danish travel ban between the regions, she would not rule it out, but also implied that it would depend on how well Danes adhered to her request to stay home also for Easter.

Expats, this also means DO NOT GO HOME for Easter, but stay put.

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Status as at 23 March of the COVID-19 epidemic in Denmark:
-1,450 confirmed with coronavirus
-254 hospitalised, of them 55 in intensive care (47 in a ventilator (in Danish they say respirator))
-24 dead (Prime Minister underlined that this figure is not comparable to the 13 so far announced dead)

All measures in place are maintained until 13 April – find a recap of  them here:

All schools, universities , child care facilities and public institutions to close and people to work from home if possible.

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 are floor stickers to help understand the distance required and shop keepers are to help impose that distance measures are respected and limit the number of people in their shops).

Dentists have announced that they are closing for all patients that are not immediately requiring it until end June (all emergency treatment is maintained as well as any chronic dental disease treatments that need to be maintained).

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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