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World News

Denmark lowers limit on public gatherings to 10 people

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective masks ride the metro, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Copenhagen, Denmark August 22, 2020. Ritzau Scanpix/Olafur Steinar Rye Gestsson via REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark is lowering the limit on public gatherings to 10 people from 50 and banning the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Friday.

The Nordic country, which has seen coronavirus infections surge, will also make wearing face masks obligatory in all indoor public spaces such as supermarkets, Frederiksen told a news briefing.

Denmark on Friday reported a record 859 new daily infections. The country has registered a total of 697 coronavirus-related deaths.

“We must prepare for an immediate and drastic increase in the number of hospitalizations,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said at the briefing.

The limit on public gatherings will be in place for four weeks, while the ban on alcohol sales and the face mask requirement will be in place from Monday until Jan. 2.

Denmark has secured enough future COVID-19 vaccine shots from drug companies for its entire population of 5.8 million, Heunicke said. A new agreement with Johnson & Johnson Denmark has been secured.

Reporting by Tim Barsoe and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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