Coronavirus action: Expert findings today, MP discussions tomorrow, big announcement on Wednesday

Focus on youngsters, education and regions most likely, concur most pundits

Still in the dangerzone, say some experts (photo: Pixabay)
February 22nd, 2021 9:16 am| by Ben Hamilton

Reopening plans will be revealed to the public on Wednesday, the Health Ministry confirmed on Saturday.

The extent of the reopening plans will very much depend on the findings of a group of experts who have been busy determining the results of a wide range of scenarios.

Those findings will be revealed to Parliament today, and then tomorrow the health and justice ministers, Magnus Heunicke and Nick Hækkerup, will hold a consultation with party leaders.

Most pundits believe the reopening plans will prioritise the welfare of youngsters and favour the lifting of more restrictions in less populated, less infected areas.

Predictability is paramount
It is reported the experts have been considering the effect of allowing older pupils to return to public school and gymnasium – particularly those graduating this year.

Additionally, reopening department stores, outdoor cultural institutions, and outdoor sports and club facilities are also under consideration.

“The plan for reopening is based on the fact that it must of course be sound from a health professional point of view when we relax restrictions,” Heunicke stated on Saturday.

“At the same time, the reopening must take place with the greatest possible predictability about the pace at which different parts of society will be reopened.”

Regional consultation today
The country’s regions and municipalities will be consulted by the government via a virtual meeting at 11:00 today.

“We now have 25 municipalities where the infection rates are very low,” noted Konservative health spokesperson Per Larsen, who is in favour of regional reopenings.

“And it would be appropriate if more young people could return to school … and to shops. We don’t understand why three or four people can’t be permitted at a car dealer, a shoe store or in a bookstore.”

Many MPs are hopeful the government will outline a long-term plan to give some areas of society, which are likely to miss out this time around, hope for the future.

Experts can’t see anything major happening
However, some experts are less certain. “If I had to give you odds, then I would say there are greater prospects for shutting down than shutting up,” said the nation’s favourite mathematical epidemiologist, Viggo Andreasen from Roskilde University. 

“We still have to imagine that if you put the big children together, then the risk of infection is at least twice as great. If you put big kids back in school, then the outbreaks you see will become much bigger and more frequent.”

Radikale health spokesperson Stinus Lindgreen concurs.

“A major reopening would surprise me given what we have continuously been told by the Statens Serum Institut,” he said.

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