Denmark seeks to close public venues to curb coronavirus

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Friday that theaters, cinemas, concert halls, amusement parks, museums and art galleries must shut down to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Frederiksen said stores smaller than 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet) and restaurants in Denmark also must limit their number of customers. The government is advising residents to limit social contacts over the Christmas holidays.

“We are not talking about shutting down the whole country as we did last year,” Frederiksen said.

The shutdown order requires parliamentary approval. Lawmakers on the Epidemic Committee meet Friday afternoon.

Like many other European countries, Denmark is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, with health authorities saying the number of infections and hospitalizations has risen faster than expected.

The country reported 9,999 new cases on Thursday, and the number was above 11,000 on Friday, the prime minister said.

Last year, Denmark was one of the first European countries to close schools because of the pandemic.

The Associated Press

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