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Coronavirus: Denmark bars entry of South African residents over fears of new strain

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Denmark said it is barring entry to residents of South Africa due to fears over the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus there.

Denmark has not recorded any cases of the new variant, which was detected by South African authorities in mid-December and has since been found in a number of other countries.

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The South African strain and another which has emerged in Britain are said to be more infectious versions of the virus and have prompted widespread concern.

Denmark’s decision came into effect Wednesday and will last until January 17.

“This means that foreigners residing in South Africa generally will be refused entry to Denmark during this period,” the justice ministry said in a statement late Tuesday.

The only exceptions will be for childcare, family visits and for people who are sick or dying, and on submission of a negative test for the coronavirus less than 72 hours old, and for the transport of merchandise.

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Denmark, which is under a partial lockdown since mid-December, has almost 90 cases of the new British variant.

It has already barred entry to arrivals from Britain except for Danish nationals and permanent residents, who must present a negative virus test.

Authorities said Tuesday they were toughening coronavirus restrictions and urged people to avoid social contacts.

“Stay at home as much as you can, don’t meet people outside your household, those close to you,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference.

So far Denmark has suffered 1,420 deaths and almost 173,000 coronavirus cases among its 5.8 million people.

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