Denmark orders eateries to close early, bans large concerts

Denmark's government has decided that school students up to the 10th grade must study remotely for the last few days before Christmas break and ordered nightclubs, bars and restaurants to close at midnight as part of efforts to counter an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark. (File photo: Agencies)

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. He further recommended Wednesday that people work from home,

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

Speaking of the omicron variant, Frederiksen said that it is “expected that this will mean more infected, more sick and thus potentially more hospitalized 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,” Frederiksen 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’s advising people to work from home when possible and reintroducing a social distancing requirement for restaurants.

Neighboring 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 can’t be avoided.