COPENHAGEN, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Restrictions due to COVID-19 have been extended beyond the Danish Capital area and will now apply throughout the entire country, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced Friday.
According to the PM, the new restrictions will now require all the country's restaurants, bars and cafes to close at 10 p.m. local time, and it will now be mandatory that staff and guests, standing or walking in a restaurant, to wear face-masks or use visors.
"The coronavirus has once again taken hold of our society. The situation is serious, and that is why today we will come up with new national initiatives," said Frederiksen at a press conference.
According to the Statens Serum Institut's (SSI) daily statement, 60 out of the total 98 municipalities in Denmark are above the threshold of concern with the COVID-19 infections surpassing 20 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past week.
"We're not the same place we were on March 11... What we are doing now is to make sure we do not get there again," the PM added.
Meantime, out of concern for the vulnerable, the government will introduce an array of stricter visit restrictions in hospitals and nursing homes.
Restrictions on assembly also gather pace, with the number of participants of gatherings being limited to no more than 50 people. However, sports and cultural events will be allowed to have up to 500 seated spectators.
In addition, private and public employers are encouraged to allow employees to work from home, if it is "possible and appropriate."
The new restrictions and recommendations come into force nationwide from Sept. 19 until Oct. 4.
"I can only say that the basic recommendation is clear. It is now about limiting social interaction with other people," said Frederiksen. "Until we have a vaccine or a very, very effective treatment, then our best super-weapon against COVID-19 is that we stand together by keeping distance and show community spirit."
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Denmark rose by 454 in the past day and now stands at 21,847, with 635 deaths, according to the SSI's daily update.