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Shuttered shops stand in Fisketorvet-Copenhagen Mall in Denmark, on Wednesday, April 15. Shuttered shops stand in Fisketorvet-Copenhagen Mall in Denmark, on Wednesday, April 15. Carsten Snejbjerg/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Denmark will begin to open retail stores and shopping centers as coronavirus restrictions are gradually lifted, the prime minister said today.

Professional sports will be allowed to resume without spectators starting Monday.

“Phase two” of the government’s plan will see the reopening of restaurants, cafes, bars, libraries, churches, schools and boarding schools for students in grades 6 through 10, from May 18. Younger students returned to school last month, during the country’s first phase of reopening.

All reopenings will take place under strict rules to maintain social distancing and cannot be considered a return to “normal” life, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said. 

“We have to expect more cases as we open society. That is why it is crucial that we protect the people that are vulnerable to the disease. But there is a risk and that is why we must continue to maintain social distancing,” the prime minister said.

A ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will remain and borders are to stay closed.

The situation in the country is still “serious” and restrictions could be reimposed if there is a spike in cases upon reopening, Frederiksen said.

The second phase will continue with ongoing precautions in place: random testing, the use of protective equipment, social distancing, good hygiene, and the avoidance of possible “super spreading” situations, such as mass gatherings.  

The number of hospital admissions attributed to coronavirus in Denmark fell below 200 today for the first time in seven weeks. The number of admitted patients have been dropping steadily since peaking with 535 people at the start of April. 

In Denmark, 514 people have died from the virus.

The first phase of reopening began three weeks ago and included school children up through fifth grade, as well as businesses including hairdressers and chiropractors reopening.

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