Denmark mandates pubs close early

Danish PM Mette Frederiksen says the country is in
Danish PM Mette Frederiksen says the country is in "a new phase in the fight against coronavirus".

Denmark is extending coronavirus restrictions already in place in the Copenhagen area to the entire country and will impose additional measures following a marked rise in cases.

Restaurants, cafes and pubs will have to close by 10 pm from Saturday, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced at a press conference on Friday.

In addition, all visitors to restaurants and bars must wear a mask from then on - they can be taken off as soon as the customer sits down.

The maximum number of participants at meetings and gatherings will also be reduced to 50 people, Frederiksen said, adding there would be exceptions to this rule for events with certain seating capacities, such as football games.

The prime minister called on employees to work from home if possible.

Social contact should generally be limited, and public transport should be avoided during peak hours, she added.

The measures will remain in place until at least October 4.

The earlier closing times and the obligation to wear masks have already been in force in the Danish capital since Thursday.

"We are on our way into autumn and winter and thus also into a new phase in the fight against coronavirus," Frederiksen said.

But she made it clear that Denmark was not in the same situation as in early March when cases were higher and stricter rules were imposed.

On Friday, Denmark's health authority recorded 454 new daily coronavirus infections, bringing the total tally of cases up to 21,847.

The country has reported a total of 635 deaths.

Australian Associated Press