Denmark is closing all its borders to travelers in a bid to tackle the spread of the new coronavirus.
The Danish government said late Friday that the country will close its borders — land, sea and air — at midday on Saturday until April 13. All passenger traffic to and from Denmark will be stopped.
Travelers will be turned away at the border unless they can show that they have "a legitimate reason" to be there, such as that they are Danish citizens or foreign nationals living and working in the country.
"We are in uncharted territory," Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a news conference. "We're in the middle of something none of us hase faced before."
"I know that the overall list of measures (announced by Denmark) is very extreme and will be seen as very extreme, but I am convinced that it's worth it."
Denmark has so far confirmed 827 cases of the virus in its population of 5.6 million.
Russia has also said that its land borders with Norway will be closed to foreigners beginning Sunday, as will the borders of Russia's Kaliningrad exclave with Poland. Belarus citizens, foreigners with legal residence in Russia and members of official delegations are excepted.
Other Russian borders with European countries remain open.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced what she says will be some of the toughest border restrictions in the world in an attempt to keep out the new coronavirus.
From Monday, all incoming passengers, including New Zealand citizens, will be required to isolate themselves for 14 days. The only countries exempt from the restrictions are a handful of Pacific islands that haven’t yet had any cases of COVID-19.
New Zealand has had only six confirmed cases of the illness. All of those have been connected with international travelers and there have been no signs yet of any local outbreaks.
The measures announced Saturday will have a big impact on New Zealand’s tourism industry, which provides the country’s largest single source of foreign income.