Denmark plans further reopening reliant on corona 'passport'
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FILE PHOTO: People walk on a street as stores reopen amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Copenhagen, Denmark March 1, 2021. Ritzau Scanpix/Philip Davali via REUTERS
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By Nikolaj Skydsgaard
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark has agreed to further ease COVID-19 curbs next month by letting hairdressers, spas and other services reopen, while restaurants and cinemas will be allowed to follow suit in May, contingent on the use of coronavirus "passports".
Denmark has gradually reopened as infection rates have dropped following wide lockdown measures introduced in December to curb a more contagious variant.
"With few exceptions, the Danish society is open once everyone over the age of 50 has been offered a vaccine," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.
Denmark expects people over 50 to have been fully vaccinated by the end of May. Last week, just over 600,000 Danes had received their first jab.
Starting on April 6, more students can resume classes while some service professions such as hairdressers and tattoo parlours can reopen, according to the plan agreed with parliament late on Monday.
Many of the planned reopening schemes are contingent on the use of a so-called "corona-passport", which shows whether the holder has been vaccinated, has previously been infected or has taken a test within the last 72 hours.
Large shopping malls can open and outdoor serving will be allowed on April 21, while cinemas, music venues and indoor serving at restaurants can resume in early May.
The government also said it would extend current economic aid packages until July.
"We can open more now in Denmark, and that is the opposite of what many others are experiencing," Frederiksen said.
Nordic neighbours Sweden, Finland and Norway have seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, prompting renewed lockdown curbs.
Denmark has registered 226,277 infections and 2,402 corona-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Edmund Blair)
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