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Denmark further eases coronavirus restrictions

A man wrapped into a Danish flag stands at Amalienborg Palace Square, where people sang to mark the 80th birthday of Danish Queen Margrethe II, in Copenhagen, on April 16, 2020. – People across the country can sing along from balconies, out of windows, in gardens or at work. The celebration of Queen Margrethe’s 80th birthday was cancelled due to COVID-19, fear of coronavirus infection. (Photo by Niels Christian Vilmann / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT

Denmark will begin to open up more businesses next week as it further eases virus restrictions, officials announced on Friday.

Following late-night negotiations between the main political parties, the government announced a deal for extending the first phase in the country’s return to normality.

“No one wants to keep Denmark closed for a day more than strictly necessary. But we must not move faster than what allows us to still keep the epidemic under control,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a Facebook post.

Denmark began reopening schools for younger children on Wednesday after a month-long closure to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming the first country in Europe to do so.

Hairdressers and tattoo parlours will start to reopen from Monday, and driving schools will start giving lessons again.

Danish courts will also start to hear more cases after being limited to handling only critical ones.

The World Health Organization’s European office urged countries to make sure sufficient safeguards were in place before starting to ease restrictions.

If countries could not ensure certain criteria, WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge urged them to “please rethink”.

Earlier this week Finland lifted a travel blockade on the Helsinki region.

Austria, Italy and Spain have also allowed some businesses to reopen.

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