Denmark shuts malls and shops over Christmas

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Denmark's Prime Minister said Wednesday the country will shut malls and shops over the holidays as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

"Denmark will be truly shut from Friday December 25 to January 3," Mette Frederiksen said, adding that food shops and pharmacies would be exempt.

Shopping centres will be closed as soon as Thursday, while a further tranche of activities will be shut down on December 21 before non-essential shops close from Christmas Day.

Earlier this week, Denmark had already extended nationwide measures already in force in and across most of the country, including closure of bars and restaurants, schools, sporting facilities and cultural centres.

On Wednesday, registered almost 3,700 new cases and 14 deaths in 24 hours in the kingdom of 5.8 million people.

Denmark looks set to soon top 120,000 total cases and 1,000 deaths, and PM Frederiksen said authorities fear January and February could become the worst months of the pandemic.

She urged Danes to celebrate Christmas with small gatherings only.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday urged Europeans to wear masks while celebrating Christmas and New Year with family, warning of a "high risk" of a leap in coronavirus cases in early 2021.

© 2020 AFP

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