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Summary, 14.05.2020 - Now we know how restaurants and cafés can reopen, and cultural life might too.

TODAY'S BULLETS

  1. The Ministry of Business has announced the guidelines for the various sectors and companies that are allowed to reopen on Monday the 18th of May. The guidelines can be found as a summary and in its full length below.

  2. Large parts of the cultural life in Denmark will likely be able to open during phase 2, instead of in phase 3, said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

  3. New guidelines for the public transport dictates that passengers in trains and busses can now sit closer than a meter from each other, as long as they are facing the same direction, and avoid direct facial contact.

  4. The Minister of Children and Education, Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, will have it looked into whether it is justifiable from a health perspective for the graduating high school students to finish their year with the traditional wagon-trip.

  5. Women without children who have passed the age limit of 41 for fertilization treatment in the period of 17th of March until the 16th of April, where the fertility clinics were closed, will be given dispensation for treatment despite having passed the age limit.

  6. 247 companies who are partly or completely owned by companies in tax havens have received salary compensation, despite that the agreement made by the political parties emphasized that it shouldn't be possible to receive compensation if this was the case.

  7. The party leaders had a debate about how the reopening of Denmark, as well as the way forward, was discussed. Some parts of quotes can be found at the bottom of this summary.

We can now soon go out to eat again / Foto: Jan Dagø

Guidelines for restaurants, cafés, bars, amusement parks etc (summary - the full translation is at the bottom).


  • The Ministry of Business has announced the guidelines for the various sectors and companies that are allowed to reopen on Monday the 18th of May.

  • Work Environment in Denmark (Arbejdstilsynet), the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) and the Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed) will continuously guide and communicate about these guidelines.


Summary

  • There can only be allowed entrance for 1 person per 4 m2 floor space, where there is a public entrance. However, for restaurants, cafés and similar, the m2-requirement is 2 m2 per person, unless the area is used commonly for standing up, then the requirement is 4 m2 per person.

  • All places of service, where food, drinks and tobacco are served to be consumed on the location, must close at 24.

  • Restaurants and cafés etc. must be arranged, so it is possible to keep at least 1 meter of distance between different circles. As an alternative to at least 1 meter of distance there can be established a physical barrier, like a shield of plastic or glass.

  • Restaurants and cafés etc. must respect the ban on public assembly, and can therefore not serve for circles that are larger than the limit (currently 10 people, ed.). Restaurants and cafés can have several circles at once if the distance between the circles is respected.

  • Outdoor serving must be arranged so it is possible to keep at least 1 meter of distance between different circles.

  • Amusement parks should have a focus on controlling guest flows on their areas and to the relevant extent control this ongoingly. It is particularly important to avoid massive lines by entrances and amusement rides.

  • Employees should not show up at work if they have mild symptoms that can indicate covid-19. There should be cleaning of a sick employee's working station immediately after identification of an illness. Employees must not be allowed to come back to work before 48 hours after symptoms have disappeared.

POLITICS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Large parts of the cultural life in Denmark will likely be able to open during phase 2, instead of in phase 3, said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen before heading to the party leader debate this evening.

  • New guidelines for the public transport dictates that passengers in trains and busses can now sit closer than a meter from each other, as long as they are facing the same direction, and avoid direct facial contact, says the Minister of Transport, Benny Engelbrecht. The guidelines also dictate that busses can again consider allowing passengers in through the front doors and that companies across the country should spread out the working hours of their employees, in order to avoid rush-hour traffic. Sick people should also not use public transport.

  • New guidelines for the public transport dictates that passengers in trains and busses can now sit closer than a meter from each other, as long as they are facing the same direction, and avoid direct facial contact, says the Minister of Transport, Benny Engelbrecht. The guidelines also dictate that busses can again consider allowing passengers in through the front doors and that companies across the country should spread out the working hours of their employees, in order to avoid rush-hour traffic. Sick people should also not use public transport.

  • Everybody must have equal access to the vaccine against covid-19, once it’s ready, says the European Commission. This announcement comes after the French medicinal giant Sanofi has announced that they will, if developing a vaccine, will reserve the first batch to the USA, since the country has given economical support to their research.

  • The placement of the new ‘pandemic agency’ underneath the Ministry of Justice is raising concern and wonder for some experts. The new agency must be ready in August and will be responsible for logistics, supplies and critical infrastructure during crises. “I think it is an unusual decision, because where is the expertise in the Ministry of Justice for procuring and stocking protective equipment to the healthcare system?” says Kjeld Møller Pedersen, professor in health economics and politics at the University of Southern Denmark. Henrik Ullum, professor and chairman of the Organization of Danish Medical Societies (Foreningen af Lægevidenskabelige Selskaber) agrees with him: “Fundamentally is an epidemic a health event, that must be solved by those that have the expertise,” he says.

  • The Minister of Children and Education, Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, will have it looked into whether it is justifiable from a health perspective for the graduating high school students to finish their year with the traditional wagon-trip: "The government is seeing a possibility that it can become a bit more festive to finish both 9th grade, apprenticeship exams and high school-exams than we had feared," she says. But a final decision hasn't been made yet, she emphasized.

  • Venstre is proposing to half the VAT from the 1st of June and the remainder of the year, with the aim of boosting the consumption of the Danish households, and thereby create workplaces during the corona-crisis.

  • When the libraries reopen the 18th of May, it will be a very different experience than before. The libraries will be using distancing tape, and use other kinds of decoration to minimize the contact between employees and users of the library. It will also not be possible for the loaners to stand for long times to pick out the books they want, but must instead choose quickly. Every third of the companies that have applied for compensation for their fixed expenditures have received compensation. This also means, however, that 66 % haven’t received compensation yet. The scheme has been available since the 8th of April.

HEALTH-RELATED INFORMATION

  • 10.713 have tested positive, 46 more than yesterday (Expect large dark numbers since we haven't been testing everyone with symptoms from the start, ed.).

  • 147 are hospitalised with corona-virus, 17 less than yesterday.

  • Of those 147 are 35 in intensive care, 2 less than yesterday.

  • Of those 35 are 28 in respirators, 4 less than yesterday.

  • 537 Corona-infected residents in Denmark have died, 4 more than yesterday.

  • 357.986 have been tested for corona-virus (+12.274), with 10.713 positives (2.99 % positives), a drop of 0.09 %-point from yesterday (We are testing more, so we are getting closer to the real percentage of infected people in the society)

  • 8.805 are reported as healthy again, after having been hospitalised with corona-virus, 142 more than yesterday.

  • Women without children who have passed the age limit of 41 for fertilization treatment in the period of 17th of March until the 16th of April, where the fertility clinics were closed, will be given dispensation for treatment despite having passed the age limit. This was announced by the Danish Regions.

  • Parents cannot access the results of their children’s corona-tests online. The Ministry of Health and the Elderly is currently working on fixing the technical and legal issues, that makes this currently impossible. In Region Hovedstaden must parents call their general practitioner or the children department at the hospital where the children were tested to get the answer. Region Hovedstaden is also working on bringing down the answering time to 24 hours.

  • The European Medicines Agency estimates that in the most optimistic scenario will a vaccine against covid-19 be approved in about a year, says the Head of Vaccines, Marco Cavaleri. He is also sceptical about claims that a vaccine can be ready in September: “If we are looking at it optimistically, it will be ready in a year from now. So at the beginning of 2021.

  • ’Corona-cars’ will now drive around and test Danes for coronavirus. They will assist with doing the tests as well as tracking down infected. The target group for these cars are e.g. weakened citizens, that cannot get to the clinics or tents to have a test done. The first car will roll out tomorrow on Zealand.

  • The new hotline that will help corona infected citizens with tracking down people they have been in close contact with has now opened. The number is 70 20 02 33.

OTHER NEWS

  • 247 companies who are partly or completely owned by companies in tax havens have received salary compensation, despite that the agreement made by the political parties emphasized that it shouldn't be possible to receive compensation if this was the case. The reason is that the definition of a tax haven is defined by the EU's list of countries that are considered tax havens, which is generally considered as being very inadequate. European countries like Holland, Luxembourg and Ireland are not part of the list, but 90 % of the lost Danish tax revenues go to other EU-countries.

  • Municipalities close to Copenhagen and Billund have relatively most citizens sent home with salary compensation, according to a new report from the Danish Business Authority. Tårnby and Dragør are the hardest hit municipalities with respective 14.2 % and 12.3 % of the privately employed being sent home. The same picture is the case in Jutland, where Billund is hardest hit with 11.5 %. For both areas is it the case that a major airport is located in the region.

  • The Danish Ballplay Union (DBU) has decided to go through with this summer’s football camps, which is one of the pinnacles of the summer for 12.000 children. DBU ensures that this will happen in accordance with the guidelines and protocols from the authorities. DBU will soon announce the guidelines that will make the foundation for the football camps as soon as they are ready.

  • Copenhagen Zoo has received 3.4 million kroner in donations from Danish citizens and cooperative partners after it came out that the park cannot reopen before the 8th of June. Every krone counts: “The lion still gets hungry, the ice bear’s water must still be cleansed, and the penguin still needs to be vaccinated,” says the park’s director Jørgen Nielsen. The zoo is hardly hit by the crisis and is facing a deficit of 50 million kroner in 2020, including the various compensations from the compensation schemes available.

  • The animal caretakers in Copenhagen Zoo has donated 25.000 kroner from their workers’ club to their working place: “We see it as a helping hand. As a means to ensure that we have a work to come back to, and to ensure that the animal welfare doesn’t suffer. We know, that we cannot keep the zoo running for much longer, as it currently stands. This is not a take-away, where we can show the animals through the backdoor. We need visitors,” said shop steward Jesper Kvist Jacobsen.

  • The Danish shipping company Torm is doing quite well in this crisis. The company specialises in shipping oil. The company had a surplus of 390 million kroner in Q1, which is 142 % more than last year. The company has particularly benefitted from the shutdown in China, where cars, airlines and companies didn’t need as much oil, which then had to be exported to other countries.

  • The Danish vaccine company Bavarian Nordic has had huge advancements in Q1. Last years deficit of 99 million kroner has been flipped around to a surplus of 515 million kroner. The main reason is that the company has been selling a coupon, which can be used to skip the line at the American health authorities, FDA, when applications have to be treated. The company recently made a tentative agreement with a minor Danish vaccine company about developing a vaccine against coronavirus.

  • A football player from Vejle Boldklub is the first player in Danish elite football that has been tested positive for coronavirus.

Guidelines for restaurants, cafés, bars, amusement parks etc (full).

  • The Ministry of Business has announced the guidelines for the various sectors and companies that are allowed to reopen on Monday the 18th of May.

  • Work Environment in Denmark (Arbejdstilsynet), the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) and the Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed) will continuously guide and communicate about these guidelines.

Particularly for restaurants, cafés, bars, night clubs etc.

  • All places of service, where food, drinks and tobacco are served to be consumed on the location, must close at 24.

  • Restaurants and cafés etc. must be arranged, so it is possible to keep at least 1 meter of distance between different circles. As an alternative to at least 1 meter of distance there can be established a physical barrier, like a shield of plastic or glass.

  • Restaurants and cafés etc. must respect the ban on public assembly, and can therefore not serve for circles that are larger than the limit (currently 10 people, ed.). A circle should only consist of people that already have close contact with each other, and are normally seeing together on these premises. Restaurants and cafés can have several circles at once if the distance between the circles is respected.

  • Guest should not have the possibility to place themselves where they can be in face-to-face contact with employees for more than 15 minutes, e.g. sitting at a bar counter.

  • Outdoor serving must be arranged so it is possible to keep at least 1 meter of distance between different circles.

  • Restaurants, cafés, taverns and bars etc. cannot have activities or arrange themselves in ways that make them resemble night clubs, e.g. by making a dancing floor or similar, that means the distance of minimum 1 meter between circles cannot be respected.


Particularly for amusement parks etc.

  • Amusement parks should offer hand sanitizer (70-85 % of alcohol) before and after use of each amusement ride.

  • There must be a particular focus on managing the guest capacity. Among other things, it can be shown by implementing a capacity limitation in terms of a maximum allowance of guests based on the size of the park and the risk of large gatherings.

  • Amusement parks should have a focus on controlling guest flows on their areas and to the relevant extent control this ongoingly. It is particularly important to avoid massive lines by entrances and amusement rides, and there can be with benefit be a management of the lines through the use of a number system, an app or clear signing. There should be staff/guards that have the task of preventing a build-up of close gatherings.

  • Amusement parks have many different kinds of amusement rides and should, for each ride, decide how guests should be placed in order to minimize the risk of infection.

  • Employees who operate the amusement rides should, to the extent possible, be shielded from the guests.


General arrangement of rooms and outdoor areas

  • There can only be allowed entrance for 1 person per 4 m2 floor space, where there is a public entrance. However, for restaurants, cafés and similar, the m2-requirement is 2 m2 per person, unless the area is used commonly for standing up, then the requirement is 4 m2 per person.

  • There have to be signed, to the extent relevant, with the maximum amount of guests allowed in the room.

  • Outdoor areas must be arranged so the risk of infection is minimized, and making it possible to keep distance, e.g. by taking initiatives to avoid the creation of lines or larger gatherings.

  • Rooms for the staff must similarly be arranged so the risk of infection is minimized, and so it is possible to keep distance.

  • Rooms must be arranged so the risk of infection is minimized and so it is possible to keep distance. The individual company puts down its own guidelines for staying in the rooms, e.g. making distance-marks by the register or reception counter, and other places where bottlenecks can arise.


Particularly for conference- and meeting activities

  • Der skal sikres mulighed for mindst 1 meters afstand mellem gæster ved aktiviteter af mere end 15 minutters varighed.

  • It has to be ensured that there's at least 1 meter of distance between guests at activities of longer than 15 minutes of length.

  • Initiatives should be taken to avoid gatherings, e.g. by having several entrances and exits to the room.

  • Mess-activities, where guests are walking around and visiting several stands, is referred to follow the guidelines for shopping centres, malls and arcades etc., where customers in a similar fashion are walking around and visiting several stores.


Hygiene

  • There must be easy access to hand hygiene. There must be water and soap or hand sanitizer (70-85 % alcohol) accessible for guests and employees.

  • Toilets (both guest- and employee toilets) must be cleaned thoroughly (regularity after a concrete evaluation), all surfaces must be washed off and points of contact disinfected. There cannot be shared towels on toilets etc.

  • If a guest becomes sick, it is recommended to clean thoroughly where the sick person has been. All surfaces must be washed off and points of contact washed off and disinfected.

  • There must be put up informational material saying that people who have symptoms of covid-19 must isolate themselves in their homes, as well as proper hygiene and appropriate behaviour in public space.

Managing sickness and symptoms

  • Employees should not show up at work if they have mild symptoms that can indicate covid-19. There should be cleaning of a sick employee's working station immediately after identification of an illness. Employees must not be allowed to come back to work before 48 hours after symptoms have disappeared.

  • Employees whose family have symptoms or are infected is recommended to follow the Danish Health Authority's guidelines for "close contacts".

Party leader debate on DR1/TV2 - 'What's the way forward for Denmark?'

Socialdemokratiet

  • The Prime Minister believes that the cultural life should be reopened in the upcoming extension of phase 2. She doesn't want to name the institutions that should open though, that will depend on the negotiations with the other party leaders, she says.

  • She calls the debate "aggressive", and warns about going forward too fast, even if the numbers are much better than expected. We have to remember, that: "One man out in town can get the infection to spread again," she says.

  • It has been very difficult to prepare for a pandemic, that no-one knew not so long time ago. The effort must be evaluated afterwards, and points to that we have to produce more protective equipment ourselves, so we are less dependant on deliveries from abroad.

  • She believes it won't be wise to reopen the borders completely, but doesn't reject Kristian Thulesen Dahl's (DF) idea about allowing German summerhouse guests. That doesn't mean that changes will come right now, but that it might be a good idea to look at how to strengthen tourism in Denmark.

  • She says she wants to cooperate with Venstre about an economic recovery but doesn't agree with the proposal of halving the VAT. Just like Pia Olsen Dyhr (SF) she believes it can be done smarter, and be targeted to Danish workplaces.

  • She says that the government doesn't have any desires to implement tax-raises as part of an agreement on the economic recovery in Denmark, after being faced with an ultimate demand from Venstre's Jakob Ellemann-Jensen of not doing so.

Venstre

  • Jakob Ellemann-Jensen believes that it is the clear-cut thing to look at the opportunity of opening the border to Germany.

  • A viewer asks what will happen with weddings and confirmations. Jakob Ellemann-Jensen doesn't give a concrete estimate on when it will be possible, but that he can understand if people wonder why restaurants can open up for guests when children's birthdays cannot be held.

  • He praises the Prime Minister for a "resolute" shutdown but says that we have to turn up "immensely" for the testing of the Danes.

  • The party has earlier today proposed to halving the VAT for the rest of the year, which will cost the Danish state a two-digit billion kroner amount according to the party. This will, however, lead to a boost in the economy, says Jakob Ellemann-Jensen. He warns the Prime Minister of going together with the other parties in the red block to raise the taxes in an agreement about the economic recovery of Denmark.

  • He does believe that it is the various reforms that were made by Venstre when they were in power, which is criticized by the left-wing, that makes Denmark well armed to handle such a crisis like this. He also says, that the party has an ultimate demand that the taxes cannot rise in a plan for the economic recovery, and Mette Frederiksen answers that the government doesn't have any desires to implement tax-raises.

Det Radikale Venstre

  • Morten Østergaard can, just like Jakob Ellemann-Jensen (V), understand if the current reopening of e.g. restaurants doesn't make sense when people cannot hold e.g. children's birthdays: "This has to make sense to people," he underlines.

  • He calls tax reliefs an "obvious proposal", and does thereby support the proposal made by Jakob Ellemann-Jensen (V) and Alex Vanopslaghs (LA). But he says it is important to think the green transition into the economic recovery and proposes lowerings of the electricity-heat tax as well as larger pay-outs on demolishing fire stoves.

Enhedslisten

  • A viewer asks what a single human life is worth, and whether we could have saved more lives by having prioritised other health areas more, and corona less. Pernille Skipper doesn't believe we can put these things into an excel-file, and that it is impossible to put a number to what a single human life is worth. She also rejects that the politicians have done too much, but is looking forward to having an investigation of what could have been done better after the corona-crisis.

  • Pernille Skipper agrees with Kristian Thulesen Dahl (DF) that it is important to open the borders to some but keep it closed to others. But she emphasizes that it is crucial to be able to follow the infection chains in order to be able to track down and put people in quarantine. But it will be much more difficult if there comes a lot of people from abroad, she says.

  • She believes it was the least wealthy that got to pay the bill after the financial crisis through degradations of the early retirement pay etc. But this time it has to be the "broadest shoulders" (read: the wealthiest people, ed.) that must pay the most, she says.

Nye Borgerlige

  • Pernille Vermund wants to let tourists from Germany and Norway into Denmark after the recent report from SSI makes it clear, that phase 2 can be reopened further.

  • She wants to make it possible to have the traditional high school wagon-trip for graduating students, but doesn't, unlike Josephine Fock (Å), think that it makes sense to ban alcohol on the trips: "There's no one who will respect that. We have to give the responsibility back," she says.

Socialistisk Folkeparti

  • Pia Olsen Dyhr is not happy about Venstre's proposal to halving the VAT. She believes that it will make the Danes buy e.g. more clothes, but that won't help the Danish economy and workplaces since most clothes are produced abroad.

Det Konservative Folkeparti

  • Søren Pape Poulsen wants to reopen amusement parks, when asked what else that can reopen in phase 2 after the SSI's report.

  • He believes, just like Kristian Thulesen Dahl (DF), that the politicians have been too careful, but that it is easy to be wise when looking in hindsight: "If we hadn't shut down, and a lot of people had died, we would have had a completely different situation," he says.

Liberal Alliance

  • Alex Vanopslagh believes that we can "open most things" if the health professional guidelines are in order.

  • He also believes that too much has been shut down. He doesn't want to point fingers but believes that e.g. restaurants could have been kept open if social distancing etc. was respected. But the data from the SSI has only arrived later on, and wasn't available when the decision was made, he says.

Dansk Folkeparti

  • Kristian Thulesen Dahl says that it is necessary to do something to prevent lonely elderly at retirement homes. He believes that the politicians have been "too cautious" and "way" too slow to make the political agreement that was agreed upon the 1st of May, which allow visits at the retirement homes under proper conditions.

  • He wants to allow Germans with a rental contract on a summerhouse to be allowed to cross the border. He believes it will be "peaceful families" that don't compose any infection risk, unlikely e.g. larger groups of young Swedes, that comes to Copenhagen to party. The borders must remain closed for them, he says.

Alternativet

  • Josephine Fock wants to ban alcohol during the wagon trip for graduating high school students. But then the trips can also be completed: "If they can promise that they won't drink, then I think we should give them that opportunity," she says.

  • She wants to have different regions of the country reopening in different tempos, and mentions that large parts of Jutland have low amount of infection.



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