Coronavirus infections have been on the rise in the Nordic countries in recent weeks, as has the rest of Europe.
In Denmark, for example, 347 new COVID-19 infections were detected on Monday. The number of people in hospital has also started to rise sharply after the backwater phase. New infections have already been detected in virtually the whole country.
Denmark has now had to re-tighten its previously relaxed interest rate restrictions. On 22 August, the country introduced a face mask obligation in all public transport. A mask or visor must even be worn at stops or terminals.
Extending the mask compulsion to shopping trips or restaurant evenings is now also being seriously considered. The retail sector and restaurants are currently discussing a possible mask escape with the authorities, according to information received by Danish Radio.
– In the spring, people remembered to keep safety distances when shopping in supermarkets. Now it’s forgotten. A face mask could be a good reminder, Professor of Virology at the University of Copenhagen Allan Randrup Thomsen said to Danish radio.
However, Randrup Thomsen recalls the importance of good hand hygiene and safety distances. Face masks alone are not enough.
Gatherings of people have also had to be restricted in 18 municipalities in Denmark. Now there can be a maximum of 50 people together instead of the previous hundred. Restaurants, cafes and bars will also have to close their doors by midnight at the latest, when a month ago they were allowed to be open by two o’clock at night.
Denmark has also called for restrictions on nightlife to prevent the spread of the corona. It is a known fact that alcohol takes away blockages and safety intervals are forgotten. Indeed, the mayor of Copenhagen has already had time to propose a ban on the sale of alcohol in certain areas after eight in the evening due to increased disruptive behavior. In restaurants, on the other hand, sales could continue.
Denmark has also restricted entry if the disease situation in the country of origin exceeds a specified threshold of 20 infections per 100,000 people. Individuals with corona symptoms cannot enter the ground.
Norway restricts the entry of Kainuu residents
There have been local coronary clusters in Norway, and the number of new cases has doubled from an average of 357 to 377 infections in weeks 32–35. However, the increase in infections has not led to an increase in the number of hospital admissions, as most new infections have been diagnosed in younger people.
However, numbers have risen, so Norway has taken action against the virus. The main culprit has been increased tourism. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges Norwegians to avoid unnecessary travel until early October.
However, the borders have not been completely shaken, and Norway can only be entered without ten days of quarantine from so-called safe countries, and there are not many at the moment. At present, only Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Cyprus, parts of Sweden and Denmark and Finland, with the exception of Kainuu, can enter Norway from Europe without quarantine. There, infection rates are higher than Norway allows without quarantine.
There is no general face mask compulsion in Norway, as infection rates are in a reasonably good pattern almost throughout the country: less than 20 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days.
Topically, a face mask is recommended if the number of 20 infections per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded or the safety distance of one meter is difficult to maintain, such as in public transport.
In Iceland with a good model
In Iceland, the coronavirus situation is in good shape. On Monday, only two new infections were found in the island nation.
In Iceland, there is still a mandatory face mask in public places where a safety distance of two meters cannot be achieved. Therefore, in barber shops, hairdressers and massage shops, for example, you have to sit with a face mask.
Gatherings are limited to 100 people.
Sources: DR, Statens Serum Institut, Norwegian Institut of Health, Landlaeknir, AFP, Ministry for Foreign Affairs