Denmark to ease some COVID-19 restrictions from March 1

People use laboratory equipment as researchers at Aalborg University screen and analyse all the positive Danish coronavirus disease (COVID-19) samples for the new English virus variant "cluster B.1.1.7", in Aalborg, Denmark

Denmark will ease some shopping restrictions and allow schools in parts of the country to reopen on March 1, the government said on Wednesday, potentially allowing hospital admissions to triple in the coming month.

Denmark, which has one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, has seen general infection numbers drop after it introduced lockdown measures in December in a bid to curb a more contagious coronavirus variant.

Based on recommendations from an expert advisory group, the government said stores under 5,000 square metres will be allowed to reopen, while outdoor leisure activities can resume with an upper limit of 25 people.

“More activity will also mean more infected and thus also more hospitalisations,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke told a press conference.

Heunicke said hospital admissions could briefly peak at some 880 in mid-April, more than triple the current 247.

“It will happen as spring sets in and more and more people get vaccinations.”

Schools in parts of the country will also be allowed to reopen, but will require students to test themselves twice a week.

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