COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark will impose a hard lockdown over Christmas and the New Year to limit the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Wednesday.
Shopping malls will close starting Thursday, and other stores, with the exception of supermarkets and food shops, will close from Dec. 25. Students still in school will be sent home as of Monday.
“Our healthcare system is under pressure,” Frederiksen said. “We have to act now.”
Danish authorities expect the coming months to be the worst of the pandemic, she said.
Denmark reported a record 3,692 new coronavirus infections during the past 24 hours on Wednesday.
A record of 54 people have been hospitalised with COVID-19 in Denmark in the last 24 hours, bringing to 493 the number of people currently in hospital, a number authorities fear could rise further in the coming days, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said.
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Alison Williams and Alex Richardson)