Culture, social life: facing Omicron, Denmark decides on new restrictions before the end of the year holidays

The press conference, organized Friday, December 17, had an air of déjà vu for the Danes, forced to spend semi-confined parties, last year, after the appearance of the Delta variant. This time it is the Omicron, which has “Changed the rules of the game in record time”, noted the Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen. Face closed, she announced that the kingdom would have to partially close, for a few weeks, the time to see this third wave, resembling a tsunami, while the new Omicron variant is now present in 20% of the tests.

Every day, the number of infected people reaches records in the kingdom of 5.8 million inhabitants, relatively preserved with 3,054 dead and 600,468 people infected since the start of the pandemic. Between Thursday and Friday, 11,194 new positive tests were recorded. The incidence rate now reaches 990 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over one week, while the positivity rate has risen to 5%.

As of Friday, 518 patients with covid were being treated in hospital, including 63 in intensive care. If for the moment, hospitalizations are increasing much more slowly than contamination, the risk is that the number of patients requiring care will continue to increase, explained Henrik Ullum, director of the National Institute of Serology (SSI), which “May lead to excess mortality”. Health Minister Magnus Heunicke recalled that health workers were already “Under extreme pressure”.

Limited openings of bars and restaurants

After re-establishing the health pass, on November 12, for those over 15 years old, in a series of closed places, the government had already imposed a first series of restrictions, on December 8, when the first cases of Omicron were reported in the country. Bars and restaurants had been asked to limit their opening hours, while schools switched to distance education on December 15, a week before the start of the school holidays.

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On Friday, Mette Frederiksen found that these measures were not enough in the face of the advance of Omicron, which is expected to become dominant in the coming days. Based on the recommendations of scientists, gathered within the “epidemic commission”, the government, with the agreement of Parliament, has therefore decided to close, from Sunday and for four weeks, cinemas, theaters and cinemas. of shows, museums and galleries, as well as zoos, aquariums, swimming pools, casinos, amusement parks and conference rooms.

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Culture, social life: facing Omicron, Denmark decides on new restrictions before the end of the year holidays