On Tuesday, April 7, Air Greenland announced that it would extend its suspension of all international and domestic passenger flights through Thursday, April 30, due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Greenland first suspended all passenger transport to and from the island on Friday, March 20; the restriction was originally set to end on Wednesday, April 8. The Greenlandic government also extended the ban of all travel to and from the capital city of Nuuk and nearby settlements through April 30.
On Monday, April 6, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederikson announced that the government will be gradually easing lockdown restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a first step, authorities will be reopening kindergartens, crèches, and primary schools for first to fifth grades on Wednesday, April 15, which would allow parents to return to work.
Meanwhile, all other restrictions will continue to remain in place, such as the closure of secondary schools, shopping centres, churches, libraries, and club premises, as well as a ban on gatherings of more than ten people, until at least Sunday, May 10. Denmark's borders will also remain closed until May 10 to all tourists and foreigners who "cannot demonstrate a credible reason to enter." Danish citizens and foreign nationals working in Denmark will remain free to enter and leave the country, and the transport of goods will not be affected. According to the government, there are plans for restaurant, bars, and cafes to reopen in the "next phase" but these establishments will remain closed in the meantime. An existing ban on major events will also remain until at least August. The Attorney General has set fines for violating the temporary ban on gatherings up to approximately EUR 443.
As of April 8, there have been 5386 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Denmark including 218 associated deaths, and 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greenland. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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