- Denmark imposed a hard lockdown in December, including closing bars, restaurants and other non-essential shops.
- The mutation is already so widespread that it cannot be stopped.
COPENHAGEN: Denmark imposed new lockdown measures on Tuesday aimed at curbing the rapid spread of a new coronavirus variant that is believed to be more transmissible, the country's prime minister said.
Denmark imposed a hard lockdown in December, including closing bars, restaurants and other non-essential shops, to curb a worrying spike in new infections, which has pushed the country's hospitals to the brim of their capacity.
In recent days, some lawmakers have called for a tightening of restrictions over fears of a new variant of the coronavirus, first detected in Britain, which is thought to be more transmissible than others.
"The mutation is already so widespread that it cannot be stopped." Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a news conference. "But we can delay it and drag out the time so we can vaccinate more people."
Health authorities said they expect the new virus variant to be the dominating one in Denmark by mid-February.
The new restrictions include lowering the limit on public gatherings to five from earlier 10 people, while a two-metre distancing rule will be introduced in public areas, including in retail shops.