Denmark has followed Italy to take drastic measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announcing that the country will close all kindergartens, schools and universities for two weeks.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Frederiksen said public sector employees who do not perform critical functions will be sent home on paid leave, while those in the private sector will be encouraged to work from home as much as possible.
Indoor events with 100 or more participants will also be been banned as part of the tough new measures.
There have been no deaths from coronavirus in Denmark, but the number of cases is rising rapidly.
Frederiksen said: ‘This will have huge consequences, but the alternative would be far worse.
‘Under normal circumstances, a government would not present such far-reaching measures without having all the solutions ready for the many Danes concerned, but we are in an extraordinary situation.’
The dramatic decision comes after the Danish Patient Safety Authority reported 442 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday evening, bringing the number of people in quarantine to 1,303.
Director Søren Brostrøm said that he expected the number of cases to increase even more rapidly in the coming days and weeks.