Denmark tightens North Jutland restrictions in response to coronavirus mutation

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced special restrictions for more than 280,000 people in the north of Denmark on Thursday after a mutated version of the new coronavirus linked to mink farms was found in humans.

Denmark tightens North Jutland restrictions in response to coronavirus mutation
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at Thursday evening's briefing. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Copenhagen warned that the mutation could threaten the effectiveness of any future vaccine.

“From tonight, citizens in seven areas of North Jutland are strongly encouraged to stay in their area to prevent the spread of infection,” Frederiksen told a news conference, adding that people were being ordered not to travel there, while bars and restaurants would also shut.

“We are asking you in North Jutland to do something completely extraordinary,” Frederiksen said, talking of a “real closure” of the region.

“The eyes of the world are on us,” she added.

Public transport in the region will be shut down with buses and trains stopped from entering or leaving.

School children in the seven municipalities, in classes from the fifth to eighth grades, will be sent home and attend lessons remotely, DR reports. Youth education, including exams, will be conducted entirely online and attendance at higher education such as universities will be reduced by 50 percent.

Culture and sporting facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, amusement parks, zoos, theatres, museums, libraries and cinemas will all be shut, though outdoor exercise areas will be allowed to remain open.

The regional health authority, Region Nordjylland (North Jutland) said in a statement it was preparing to mass-test 280,000 residents in the affected areas for coronavirus.

Denmark, the world's largest exporter of mink fur, raised concerns on Wednesday by announcing the slaughter of all mink in the country — numbering 15 to 17 million spread over 1,080 farms — following the discovery of the mutation which can be passed to humans.

The mutation has already been detected in 12 people — 11 cases in the region being closed down, and one in another.

READ ALSO: ANALYSIS: How serious is Denmark's mink coronavirus mutation and outbreak?

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Public Health Agency recommends two Covid doses next year for elderly

Sweden's Public Health Agency is recommending that those above the age of 80 should receive two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine a year, once in the spring and once in the autumn, as it shifts towards a longer-term strategy for the virus.

Public Health Agency recommends two Covid doses next year for elderly

In a new recommendation, the agency said that those living in elderly care centres, and those above the age of 80 should from March 1st receive two vaccinations a year, with a six month gap between doses. 

“Elderly people develop a somewhat worse immune defence after vaccination and immunity wanes faster than among young and healthy people,” the agency said. “That means that elderly people have a greater need of booster doses than younger ones. The Swedish Public Health Agency considers, based on the current knowledge, that it will be important even going into the future to have booster doses for the elderly and people in risk groups.” 


People between the ages of 65 and 79 years old and young people with risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, poor kidney function or high blood pressure, are recommended to take one additional dose per year.

The new vaccination recommendation, which will start to apply from March 1st next year, is only for 2023, Johanna Rubin, the investigator in the agency’s vaccination programme unit, explained. 

She said too much was still unclear about how long protection from vaccination lasted to institute a permanent programme.

“This recommendation applies to 2023. There is not really an abundance of data on how long protection lasts after a booster dose, of course, but this is what we can say for now,” she told the TT newswire. 

It was likely, however, that elderly people would end up being given an annual dose to protect them from any new variants, as has long been the case with influenza.