Danish lockdown and school closures affecting expat parents

Published:  13 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Euro, Travel Abroad
It’s not yet two full months since the coronavirus pandemic began, with almost every expat destination now caught in its deadly clutches.

As entire countries go into full or partial lock-down including school closures, travel bans and the cancellation or outlawing of anything involving crowds of humans, how are expats with families getting by? For many, being forced to work from home whilst attempting to entertain or control their children whilst they enjoy an unexpected school holiday is a step too far, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

It’s the same in Denmark as it is in the rest of Europe, with all-day childcare an unexpected burden for expat professionals who’ve been told to work at home or have chosen to do so for their own and their family’s safety. Copenhagen’s expatriate community is now facing tough new restrictions, but most of those now affected seem to be taking it in their strides. In order to help, the Danish government has provided a guarantee scheme for SMEs to help during the 2.5 week lockdown. Some 70 per cent of SME bank loans will be under governmental guarantee in order to keep small businesses solvent until the crisis passes.

However, the majority of expat-owned SMEs don’t seem to be aware of the guarantee, with others uncertain as to whether it relates to their circumstances. One British owner of a popular cake shop is very concerned about the effect of the lockdown on trade, whilst the owner of a kids’ science education business doesn’t know whether any governmental support will be forthcoming. Another expat who owns a ladies’ lingerie store has just closed, hopefully temporarily, but has no idea whether or not re-opening it after the pandemic ends will actually work.

Expat single parents forced to work from home at the same time as looking after their children are having the worst time of all, according to one female expat, with another whose job involves selling medical equipment saying he’s struggling to get anything done due to his noisy offspring, one of whom is autistic. Even although the lockdown is only expected to continue for 2.5 weeks, for expat parents in particular it’s likely to feel as if it’s far longer.
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