Updated: Jul 25
I got my hair cut on Monday!
Yep, it's true. Things are starting to open back up here in Denmark. And I have mixed feelings about it. Obviously, DK is small country and once they closed their borders, they were able to get a good handle on the infection. In a country of 5.8 million only 370 have died.
I am writing simply to give you the facts. Like I said, I have mixed feelings. As do many Danes. It might just be too early. Some people are saying that the government expects 80% of the population to get it, and they want us to start building up herd immunity. So here's what has happened so far:
Phase One: Elementary Schools
Week of April 13th
Last week elementary schools opened back up. Rasmus has family that works in these schools and some were on-board and others were more worried.
Here is an excerpt from The Local DK, Danish News in English:
Denmark's government has announced plans to reopen kindergartens and schools for children up until the age of 11, as it takes the first steps in a gradual lifting of the country's coronavirus lockdown. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that the government was opening schools for students up until class five first, because the requirement to care for them represented a greater burden on society. The opening of schools and services for the youngest means that some parents will have peace to.work undisturbed. We need that, because many tasks are left undone," she said during a press conference. Older children from class six (11-12) until class ten (15-16) will be able to return to school at the earliest on May 10, Frederiksen said, as will pupils in upper secondary school. As a result, all end of term exams for pupils will be cancelled. Churches, libraries, and club premises for sports and other activities will also be closed until at least May 10, as will shopping centres. Denmark will keep border controls in place until at least May 10, and will also keep in place its ban on gatherings of more than ten people until May 10. Restaurants, bars, cafés and hairdressers will remain closed until "the next phase".
Phase Two: Hairdressers, Dentists, Tattooists and more
Week of April 20th
And this week a slew of other businesses opened up. As I said, I went to get my hair cut on Monday. There was a weird vibe around town. People were a bit uneasy as I could tell. Oddly enough, Danes aren't wearing masks! It is so odd. But here are the details from The Local DK, Danish News in English:
The Danish government has announced the reopening guidelines for professions such hairdressers, physiotherapists, dentists and beauticians as they re-opened business on Monday. At a press meeting on Sunday afternoon, Business Minister Simon Kollerup announced the set of guidelines for how businesses can reopen responsibly, which have been decided with business organisations and health authorities. “It goes without saying that you cannot avoid contact with a masseur or hairdresser. But the new guidelines need to reduce our infection,” said Kollerup. Last week Denmark's government struck a cross-party deal to reopen certain professions from next week. These include dentists, hairdressers, driving schools, masseurs, beauticians, tattooists, physiotherapists. The public institutions which will open include courts, family courts, prisons (for newly sentenced), research laboratories. Below are some of the guidelines set out today. Full details can be found by clicking this link to the Ministry of Business (Erhvervsministeriet) document.
We are expecting to get more updates on May 10th. But Rasmus and I will be in New Mexico by then! But watching the phases unfold is interesting. I am expecting the USA to see some sort of similar roll-out.
Update Video on April 21:
Denmark Opening Safety Guidelines:
And here is what they are asking of all businesses that have been opened under the new guidelines:
* Face-to-face contact should be as short as possible and at a distance.
* In situations where prolonged close contact cannot be avoided, there should be a physical barrier between staff and customer. This could be a mask or visor, or a screen in a nail salon where the customer can put their hands through.
* Employees must wash their hands thoroughly before and after each customer, in addition to other general hand washing times.
* Employees should, where possible, use their own tools/equipment.
* Thorough cleaning of equipment after each treatment and a plan for general cleaning and disinfecting of equipment.
* Thorough cleaning of surfaces such as handles, handrails, light switches, tables, computers that are touched by many.
* Laundry, such as towels, to be washed at 80 degrees.
* There should be at least two meters distance between customers' locations.
* Any waiting rooms should be closed or arranged so that it is possible to keep a minimum of two meters distance.
* Magazines, toys etc. must be removed from the premises.
* Water and soap or hand sanitizer must be available to customers and employees.
* Information leaflets about coronavirus symptoms and good hygiene should be available in or near the premises.
* Staggered or extended opening and meeting times should be used, to prevent too many employees from working at the same time and to reduce the amount of customers.
* For practical driving lessons there should be no more than one student and one driving teacher per car.
That is what is happening in our corner of the world. Thanks for reading. I would love to hear where your countries and states are with coronavirus, comment below! And let me know if you have questions.
Stay strong all, sending love!