On Monday, March 23, the Danish government extended the existing domestic restrictions until Monday, April 13, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes a ban on all gatherings with more than ten participants. The ban does not apply in specific cases such as within supermarkets, in public transportation, or at the workplace. All non-essential businesses and schools are closed although supermarkets and pharmacies remain open, and some restaurants and cafés continue to operate takeout service. The Attorney General has set fines for violating the temporary ban on gatherings up to approximately EUR 443.
On Friday, March 13, 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.
As of Tuesday, March 24, there have been 1582 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Denmark including 24 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.
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.
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.