Over half of Danish municipalities asked to use Covid-19 measures

Greve Municipality is one of the local authorities currently worst affected by Denmark's Covid-19 spike.
Greve Municipality is one of the local authorities currently worst affected by Denmark's Covid-19 spike. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
54 of Denmark’s 98 municipalities have been encouraged by health authorities to introduce measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 due to high local incidences.

A law which earlier initiated automatic lockdowns in divisions of municipalities known as sogne (parishes) when infections reached a certain level was revoked in September when national restrictions ended.

Instead, municipalities are now asked to take steps to reduce infection rates once they reach 20 infections in the last week, and when the rate of infection is equivalent to 400 per 100,000 residents.

The recommended measures apply primarily to municipal facilities. For example, kindergartens are asked to keep children in different age groups apart.

READ ALSO: Denmark again breaks 2021 record with ‘concerning’ number of new Covid-19 cases

The mayor of Greve, one of the affected municipalities, said the local authority was short on testing capacity.

“At the moment our residents are waiting in long queues and can’t get test appointments. It’s a huge challenge to break infection chains,” Greve mayor Pernille Beckmann said.

Beckmann suggested residents were choosing not to be tested because they were facing long journeys to find an available test.

Greve, has a current Covid-19 incidence of 436 per 100,000 residents, which makes the Zealand municipality the fifth-hardest hit in Denmark at the time of writing.

Although recommended measures can be put into place in areas like municipal kindergartens and elementary schools, Beckmann called for clearer guidelines from central authorities.

“I’d like to see a model whereby the government and health authorities are a bit more straight talking about what municipalities have to do,” she said.

“When they say ‘shall’, will they also make a commitment to compensating us economically?”, the mayor asked, noting that introducing the measures incurred costs to local authorities.

An example of this is a requirement for extra staff to meet with social distancing recommendations in kindergartens.

READ ALSO: Children amongst most Covid-19 infected in Denmark

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