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COPENHAGEN, May 6 (Reuters) - Danish shopping malls, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to open next Monday and older children will return to school in the second phase of Denmark’s reopening from its coronavirus lockdown, under a government proposal set to be debated shortly.
“The government is proposing that we reopen the entire retail sector including shopping malls, that restaurants and cafes can open again, and that older schoolchildren can get more of their everyday life back,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, according to the Ritzau news agency.
Denmark was among the first countries to restrict public gatherings and close schools, restaurants and bars in a lockdown that quickly helped curb the spread of the virus.
The government is talking to opposition parties about its plan, which it has promised to publish before May 10.
Day care centres and primary school classes for ages 6 to 12 were reopened two weeks ago, followed by hairdressers and other small businesses on April 20, as the number of infections and deaths declined.
“All parties want to open everything up, no one wants to keep parts of Denmark closed even one day more than necessary, but everyone also acknowledges that we should do the most responsible thing for health,” Frederiksen told Ritzau.
She said she hoped agreement would be reached quickly so that the latest easing could start on May 11.
Denmark has seen daily infections and hospital admissions decline steadily, prompting Frederiksen to say last week that the spread of the virus was “under control”.
So far, 9,938 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Denmark, a country of 5.8 million people, and 506 have died with the disease, according to data from health authorities. (Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Kevin Liffey)