March 13, 2020 / 6:33 PM / in 20 days

Denmark shuts its borders for one month to curb spread of coronavirus

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark announced on Friday it would shut its borders to most foreign visitors for a month from Saturday, in a move unprecedented in peacetime as part of efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The restrictions will come into force at 12 pm (1100 GMT) on Saturday and continue until at least April 13, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a news conference.

“All tourists, all travel, all vacations, and all foreigners who cannot demonstrate a credible reason to enter Denmark will be denied entrance at the Danish border,” Frederiksen said.

Danish citizens and foreigners working in Denmark will still be free to enter and leave the country. The transport of goods, including foods, medicine and industry supplies, will also not be affected, she said.

The country of 5.7 million people has reported 801 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far and no deaths.

Large swathes of Denmark have been in lockdown since Thursday after the government shut all schools and universities and sent home all public sector workers with non-critical jobs in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

The government has notified neighboring countries Germany, Norway and Sweden as well as the European Commission, Frederiksen said, adding that authorities would need a few days to fully establish the border controls.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Gareth Jones

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