Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
A picture of a mink attached to a lamp post in Gjøl, a town in North Jutland where a number of mink farms are located. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix
Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

How serious is the mink coronavirus mutation and outbreak?

Yesterday, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced (via video link) that Denmark is to cull every single one of the millions of minks at farms across Denmark, effectively consigning a billion-kroner industry to the scrapheap.

The decision to cull up to 17 million animals was deemed unavoidable after a mutated version of the new coronavirus was detected at mink farms and then spread to people.

The mutation “could pose a risk that future (coronavirus) vaccines won't work the way they should,” Frederiksen told a press conference, adding: “It is necessary to cull all the minks.”

READ ALSO: Denmark to cull millions of minks over mutated coronavirus

That statement is alarming when unpacked: could a new version of coronavirus emerge from North Jutland as it did from Wuhan in January, resetting international efforts to develop a vaccine and beat the pandemic, leaving Denmark a global pariah?

It sounds far-fetched, but commentators in Denmark have begun to express concerns along these lines, based on the information coming from the government and health authorities.

We’ll have more on this in a full article later today – keep an eye on our website.

Frederiksen tests negative for Covid-19

A coronavirus outbreak at the Christiansborg parliament resulted in 13 Social Democratic ministers working remotely and several other infections reported in other parties.

The prime minister was among those required to isolate after taking part in a meeting with Nick Hækkerup, the justice minister, who tested positive for Covid-19 this week.

Frederiksen’s test has now returned negative, Ritzau reports.

Several other ministers have also confirmed their coronavirus tests have come back negative, including defence minister Trine Bramsen, interior minister Astrid Krag, Peter Hummelgaard (employment), Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil (children and education) and Lea Wermelin (environment).

Hækkerup remains the only member of the government to so far have tested positive for Covid-19.

Why do qualified internationals leave Denmark?

In the past, we’ve reported on international students who choose to remain in Denmark and build a career after graduating. Around 55 percent of international graduates do so.

So what about people who leave? We spoke to three individuals who left Denmark despite wanting to stay. The reasons they gave included uncertainty over the rules, strict residency requirements and difficulty accessing the labour market.

A full feature on this will be published on our website later today.

New travel restrictions could be announced

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to make some adjustments to its travel guidelines today. Thursday is the regular day for the ministry to make updates to its advisories based on the current situation with Covid-19 in relevant destinations.

Last week saw most of Europe given the ‘orange’ designation, which means all non-essential travel is not recommended by the foreign ministry. People who live in countries to which Denmark advises against travel are required to provide a so-called “worthy” (anerkendelsesværdigt) reason for entering Denmark.

A few countries in Europe, including Norway, Finland and Estonia, continue to avoid this list. We’ll report any changes if they are announced today.

READ ALSO: Denmark demands negative Covid-19 test at border from family members and foreign workers

Danish vocabulary:

  • Muteret: mutated
  • Rejsevejledninger: travel guidelines
  • Aflive: cull or put down (an animal)

Many thanks to all those who took the time to send such encouraging feedback on our daily news round-up. We’re going to make the daily update a permanent feature, but if you have any suggestions or feedback in future, you’re welcome to let us know – we’re always happy to hear from you.


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