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The Danish government said Friday it would close cinemas, theaters and concert halls, as well as restaurants, bars and museums, for at least four weeks in a bid to break a new wave of COVID-19 infections being driven by the highly-infectious omicron variant. The proposals, announced by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, have to be approved by the Danish parliament’s Epidemic Committee before going into effect.
The move comes as Denmark has hit a new record in COVID-19 infections, with more than 11,000 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours. Many of these have been confirmed as caused by the new omicron variant, which is thought to spread faster than previous COVID incarnations.
Frederiksen said the new restrictions were necessary to “limit activity” and “reduce transmission,” but said more severe measures such as a full lockdown were not necessary at the moment.
Coronavirus cases have been spiking across Europe, with omicron as an identified culprit in Denmark and the U.K., two countries that are world leaders in genomic sequencing of the virus. In other countries where infection rates are rising, including in Spain, Italy and France, omicron is also thought to be a factor.
Last winter, a surge of COVID-19 infections led to cinema closures across Europe and full-scale lockdowns in many countries.
Also reported on Friday, Spider Man: No Way Home was smashing opening day records in the U.K. despite COVID-19 cases hitting a record high due to the omicron variant.
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