March 23, 2020 / 2:23 PM / 15 days ago

Denmark extends coronavirus lockdown until April 13

A pedestrian walks around Lake Soendersoe, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Vaerloese, Denmark, March 23, 2020. Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark on Monday extended until April 13 a nationwide lockdown that has closed schools and restaurants and kept most public sector workers at home to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Nordic country, which has reported 24 coronavirus-related deaths, had announced a two-week lockdown to limit physical contact between its citizens on March 11.

“We’ve changed our behavior a lot. We’ve changed the way we co-exist. We keep a distance and we stay at home. And that is paramount for the strategy of breaking the chain of infections,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a news conference.

The country has restricted public assembly to 10 or fewer people and ordered the closure of schools, universities, day cares, restaurants, cafes, libraries, gyms and hair salons.

It has also announced economic aid packages worth 55 billion Danish crowns ($7.93 billion) and state guaranteed loans to businesses worth 60 billion crowns to help deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Catherine Evans nd Timothy Heritage

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