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Political discussions about opening measures

Danish Parliament to discuss what may open and what is to remain closed as of 28 February

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By Bente D. Knudsen

Many shop owners, students, children and parents are waiting in anticipation to hear what the final agreement in parliament will be concerning the end of the current restrictions in place until 28 February.

It will be political decision, based on recommendations from health experts and other Danish health institutions such as Sundhedstyrelsen and SSI (the Danish Institute for Infectious Diseases).

Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, wants to base the opening on a large political agreement, her government being a minority government.

Also, the opening will entail more spread, mathematical models show that, depending on how much is opened at once, more will be hospitalised and that hospitals, which are now at a low level of coronavirus patients, will again get under pressure.

So, Mette Frederiksen will want it to be a decision, and a responsibility, taken by as large a majority in parliament as possible.

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Already there is dissent and several parties, amongst other Dansk Folkeparti, find that the propositions for opening are not taking enough considerations for the price paid by many young people and students and small shops for instance.

In the first papers published from the expert groups’ models smaller retail shops up to 5,000 m2 can open but not the smaller shops in shopping malls nor the larger DIY stores.

The chairman of the Konservative said last night that he finds this incomprehensible as a DIY of more than 5,000 m2 should be able to put in place measures where distancing is possible.

Also only in West and North Jutland as well as on Bornholm the efterskoler would be allowed to open but not in the rest of the country. Something which Dansk Folkeparti’s chairman says he doesn’t understand as the schools would be able to keep students at school (they board at the school) and make small groups at the schools to avoid large scale spread.

The leder of De Radikale, Sofie Carsten Nielsen, wrote on her Facebook profile that she would wish more opening measures were on the government’s list.

“I find that many shops, liberal businesses, students and children have paid a very high price this winter”.

The political parties meet with Health Minister Magnus Heunicke and Minister of Justice Nick Hækkerup Tuesday afternoon at 15:30 today and the expectation is that the Prime Minister will announce what is to open and what is to stay closed on Wednesday 24 February.

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