Schools in Denmark to close early for Christmas as Covid cases surge

Closing time of midnight set for nightclubs, bars and restaurants

Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen: ‘The new variant entails a significant risk of critically overloading the health service, and that is why we now have to do more.’ Photograph: Adrian Dennis/Pool/AFP via Getty

Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen: ‘The new variant entails a significant risk of critically overloading the health service, and that is why we now have to do more.’ Photograph: Adrian Dennis/Pool/AFP via Getty

 

Denmark’s government is shutting schools early for the Christmas break in an effort to counter a surge of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Nightlife is also being restricted as a closing time of midnight for clubs, bars and restaurants has been set.

The prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, also banned concerts where audiences have more than 50 people standing and required restaurant patrons to wear face masks when they are not seated.

She further recommended that people work from home.

The measures apply as of Friday and are set to last for four weeks. The virtual teaching starts on December 15th. In Denmark, schools go on Christmas break from December 20th.

Speaking about the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Ms Frederiksen said that it is “expected that this will mean more infected, more sick and thus potentially more hospitalised patients”.

“Thus, the new variant also entails a significant risk of critically overloading the health service, and that is why we now have to do more,” she said.

Norway on Tuesday introduced a 10-person limit for gatherings at private homes, although the number will be increased to 20 on Christmas and New Year’s eves. It also is capping attendance at public events without assigned seating at 50.

In addition, the government says it is advising people to work from home when possible and reintroducing a social distancing requirement for restaurants.

Neighbouring Sweden also has recommended that employers give their workers the opportunity to work from home, and face masks are required on public transportation when crowding cannot be avoided. – Associated Press