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Important measures to curb spread

Do not hug, kiss or shake hands when you meet up with friends, all events with more than 1,000 participants should be cancelled and help your elderly who are at risk.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

Press meetings will take place daily with the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen flanked by officials from health, police, foreign office and the Danish business ministries to inform of the status and new measures taken to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The strategy actually is to contain and delay spread, not only to limit illness and deaths, but also to reduce the effects on the society.


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The measures announced are:

Events with more than 1,000 participants should be cancelled and those with less should consider the access to the event, how crowded will the event be and who is participating in it.  The measure will be in place until the end of March 2020 but longer if necessary the Prime Minister informed.

Questioned by reporters present as to why the government was not forbidding these large events but recommending that they should be cancelled, the Danish Prime Minister made it very clear that the government is expecting that all those organising events will take their responsibility in order to limit spread of coronavirus and if necessary, i.e. if organisers do not do this, the government will take the necessary measures.

The Danish police are the ones normally informed of large events and they will be meeting later to get an overview of the number of events affected.

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Several Danish football leagues, such as FC Copenhagen, have immediately informed that they will be playing planned games without an audience and the Danish song contest, Melody Grand Prix, which is to be held this weekend, will be done so without an audience.

Many questions were posed to the health representative, Søren Brostrøm, from the Danish Health Board, Sundhedsstyrelsen, concerning the effects of limiting events with more than 1,000 participants.

His response was that the experiences of the effect of limiting spread of a virus by limiting events with many participants are good, and of course the question of what the limit should be can always be asked, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

This is also why, those organising events below 1,000 participants, are asked to consider the risk of spread at their events.

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Citizens are asked to refrain from close contact; to avoid kisses, hugs and handshakes when you meet was another more controversial measure. Again, Søren Brostrøm informed that it is not up to the authorities to watch over what the citizens do.

“However, this is a measure we know works, it is not a question of not kissing your spouse good night, but of thinking about how we greet people we meet. Maybe look them in the eye for a while and smile at them, but avoiding close contact is efficient in order to limit spread,” Søren Brostøm underlined.

The Danish Royal House announced that contrary to royal etiquette, royals would not be shaking hands with guests.

“What to do when taking the public transport such as the Metro?” was another question asked by many reporters.

Here the advice was clear.

If you have to take public transport during rush hour, avoid standing close to people who sneeze and cough, after having held on to the handrails, wash or disinfect your hands, or wear gloves.

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People who are at risk, this means elderly people above the age of 80, or those with an immune deficiency or other chronic disease, should not take the public transport such as the metro during rush hour and instead find another means of transport.

Danish Prime Minister added that: “Maybe this is where we need to help our elderly family members with shopping or transport to avoid exposing them to any risk.”

Citizens who have planned trips abroad need to stay updated with the travel guidelines issued by the Danish Foreign Office. Find them here.

The representative from the office informed that the travel guidelines are updated daily and sometimes more often.

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An online site called  gathers all information from all relevant public institutions in order to help citizens and businesses stay informed and updated in one place.

The Prime Minister ended the press meeting by informing the media present that she appreciates the efforts made to spread information in the Danish society about the coronavirus and that there will be updates and press meetings called even last minute.

The government and relevant authorities have decided that, rather than inform about all kinds of possible scenarios, they would rather inform immediately when new decisions about measures to limit spread have been taken.


The best advice from health experts world wide to avoid risk is still to step up on hygiene measures, wash your hands often, always when you have touched a surface such as a doorknob or other items in a public space, if you cannot wash your hands, use a disinfectant.

Wash your hand before eating or use a disinfectant.

Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes if you were not able to wash or disinfect your hands.

Avoid close contact with people who cough or sneeze, or show other flu like symptoms.

If you have to sneeze or cough, do so in your armpit, do not sneeze/cough on surfaces, on other people, or into your hands.