Denmark has just shut down cinemas, stores and restaurants in the run up to the holidays to cope with a surge in COVID-19 cases and curb the spread of the new variant.
The Scandinavian country reported 11,194 cases of infections for the first time during the pandemic. It’s one the highest numbers of omicron cases on record, according to Bloomberg.
“This is not a lockdown of society as we saw last winter, but we need to immediately reduce activity in society,” said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
She said the government will compensate businesses affected by new restrictions. Like the Netherlands, Denmark also closed schools a week ahead of schedule before the Christmas holiday. The stricter guidelines will apply starting on Friday and will remain in place for four weeks.
Elsewhere in the Nordics, Norway started limiting gatherings to 10 people in private homes earlier this week and reintroduced social distancing measures in restaurants. Meanwhile, events without seatings have capped at 50 people, according to Euronews.
“We consider the situation as being serious. Both delta and omicron infections are increasing in Norway. The number of people who are admitted to hospitals and intensive care units is increasing,” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.
Back in Germany, where the Berlin Film Festival is still expected to kick off in February, the country has made vaccinations mandatory in non-essential stores, restaurants and sports and cultural venues. Theaters, meanwhile, have remained open. As of Dec. 17, roughly 68.9% of Germans are fully vaccinated. Berlin has also begun vaccinating children under 12.