Coronavirus Round-up: Business trips essential to economic revival, contends government

Elsewhere, society is reopening quickly with cinemas, theatres, art galleries, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and even themeparks all given the green light

New health guidelines to accommodate business travellers coming to and from Denmark have been issued by the government.

The measures include obtaining a ‘coronavirus certificate’ as proof you do not have the virus before travelling to and from certain countries, being tested upon entry to Denmark in order to avoid the standard two weeks of self-quarantine, and having the traveller provide a contact person in relation to their business in Denmark.

Recognisable purpose
Since mid-March, foreigners have only been permitted in the country for a so-called “recognisable purpose” that typically required proof of work and/or residency in Denmark.

The government justified the new measures by noting that an estimated 800,000 Danish jobs are linked to exports and that without adequate provisions for business trips, Danish companies will lose purchase orders and market shares –severely impacting the economy.

More days in Denmark without coronavirus deaths
The State Serum Institute (SSI) has confirmed that there have been no new deaths of coronavirus-infected patients registered in the last 24 hours – for the second day in a row, and for the third time this week. SSI emphasises that the absence of registered deaths does not necessarily mean there will not be a delayed recording of a coronavirus-related death over the same period. Those who have died within 30 days of testing positive for the virus are counted. There are currently 115 people hospitalised for coronavirus – 21 of whom are in intensive care units and 17 of whom are on ventilators.

Denmark entering Phase 2 of reopening
Many more sectors of society and the economy are now allowed to open after the government reached an agreement on May 20 on the second part of their ‘Phase 2’ of reopening. Activity and cultural centres like museums, theatres, art galleries, cinemas, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens may all open immediately. Public research institutes, colleges, and language centres are also be allowed to open, along with the full opening of DR and TV2. All reopening operations must adhere to guidelines regarding distance, hygiene etc, which may be subject to change. Outdoor themeparks may be allowed to open following health risk assessments, while places like nightclubs, most indoor sports and leisure facilities, and music venues will remain closed

Coronavirus wards across Denmark have gone dormant
Denmark’s five regions have all confirmed they have at least one hospital that has chosen to wind down its coronavirus isolation wards due to the lower rate of infection in recent weeks, according to a new survey by DR. The hospitals are looking after their covid-19 patients in existing departments while placing the wards in what they call ‘hibernation’, whereby the hospital is prepared to quickly reopen them should the number of coronavirus patients spike again.

Cinemas and theatres opening
The Ministry of Culture has issued health guidelines for cinemas and theatres, as coronavirus restrictions that forced their closure in mid-March have now been lifted. The guidelines state there must be a maximum of one guest per two square metres of floor space, and that social distancing of at least one metre should be maintained between guests in the ticket and candy kiosks. This will mean every second seat will be empty, though guidelines stipulate that sitting next to a spouse or someone you are already in close contact with is allowed.

Themeparks set to reopen earlier than anticipated
Themeparks may open from May 27 – two weeks ahead of the schedule outlined in Parliament’s original agreement. However, most parks have announced their grand reopening to come at a later date as they work to comply with coronavirus health guidelines. Tivoli is tentatively scheduled to open on June 8, though there remain doubts it can comply with the 10-person assembly ban. Other tentative dates include: Legoland (June 8), Tivoli Freedom in Aarhus (May 29), Djurs Sommerland (June 11), Fårup Sommerland (June 11), Sommerland Sjælland (June 12), and BonBon-Land (June 19).

1,600 Danish sailors caught on the high seas
It is estimated that there are up to 1,600 Danish sailors among the estimated 150,000 currently stranded at sea. The Coronavirus Crisis has prevented them from coming ashore as most countries have instituted lockdowns. Closed ports and airports around the world have also contributed to the logistical nightmare of transporting new personnel to the ships, let alone getting the weary, overworked seafarers home once they land.

Police overtime mounting
The number of overtime hours for police officers around Denmark has spiked as a result of the Coronavirus Crisis. A total of 1,127,021 overtime hours were clocked up in April 2020 – up by more than 100,000 from January. While there has been a reported decrease in burglaries and no unruly football fans or rowdy club-goers to deal with during the lockdown, the police have been carrying out extra patrols to maintain coronavirus restrictions and border security.

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