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19 Mar 2020 | 06:54 AM UTC

Denmark: Additional domestic restrictions implemented March 18 /update 5

Government implements further domestic restrictions due to COVID-19 March 18; follow government directives

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Event

As of 10:00 (local time) on Wednesday March 18, the Danish government has implemented additional domestic measures to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The government has banned all gatherings with more than 10 participants. The Attorney General has set fines for violating the temporary ban on gatherings up to approximately EUR 443. The ban will not apply in specific cases such as within supermarkets, public transportation, or in the workplace. All non-essential businesses have been closed although supermarkets and pharmacies remain open, and some restaurants and cafes continue to serve takeaway options. The restrictions are provisionally expected to remain in place until Monday, March 30. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also announced the closure of all schools and universities effective Friday, March 13.

On Friday, the Prime Minister also announced that Denmark would close its borders to all tourists and foreigners who "cannot demonstrate a credible reason to enter," from 12:00 on Saturday, March 14, through Monday, April 13. Danish citizens and foreign nationals working in Denmark will remain free to enter and leave the country and the transport of goods will not be affected.

To date, there have been 1115 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Denmark including four associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.  
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.