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

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
A very quiet scene outside a Copenhagen hotel in April this year. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Latest on coronavirus mink mutation

Although Danish officials sounded a reassuring note at the end of last week and scientists called for calm until more evidence is available, Denmark is pressing ahead with the huge task of culling millions of fur farm mink – with all the consequences that means for those with livelihoods dependent on the industry.

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

Negotiations over compensation for mink fur farmers are set to begin today in parliament, according to broadcaster DR.

Meanwhile, the National Police have said in a statement that the culled mink are to be buried. Authorities are working to find locations to bury the animals, the police said. In order to prevent infection escaping from the buried animals, they will be covered in a layer of lime.

At this time, no further cases have been confirmed of the mutated coronavirus strain in people. At a briefing on Friday, Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm said there would be “more knowledge about the extent of human transmission” in communities, specifically in North Jutland, once mass testing has been conducted in the next two weeks.

Further restrictions on movement in North Jutland

North Jutland, the region in which the mink outbreaks and mutated variant of coronavirus emerged, is already under Denmark’s by-far toughest restrictions on movement and social and economic activity, and they have now been tightened further.

From today, only schoolgoers may use bus routes which cross borders between the seven municipalites (Hjørring, Frederikshavn, Vesthimmerland, Brønderslev, Jammerbugt, Thisted and Læsø) encompassed by restrictions DR reports.

Only strictly necessary errands (for example those of nurses or police officers) are considered acceptable reasons for travelling between municipalities. Trains will not cross municipal borders, for example from Aalborg (which is in North Jutland but not in an affected municipality) and Frederikshavn (which is). Buses on local routes within the seven municipalities will still operate – but only schoolgoers will be allowed to stay on board when they change municipality.

School children from the 5th to 8th grades and those in youth education will be attending classes digitally from home, further reducing the number of people using the buses.

The restrictions are in place until December 3rd.

UK clamps down on Danish arrivals

The UK has further tightened restrictions on travel from Denmark, citing the situation with the mink outbreak as its cause for doing so.

Ships, planes and trucks from Denmark can currently not enter the UK, while the country on Saturday banned entry to all non-resident foreigners coming from Denmark.

Danish hotels suffering

Denmark’s hospitality industry has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus crisis, and the effects appear also to have been evident during the summer and early autumn when the situation with the virus went through a less severe spell.

Overnight stays at hotels in Denmark in September were far under normal levels, according to Statistics Denmark. 40 percent fewer sales of overnight sales were recorded, with the majority of the shortfall attributable to missing foreign tourists. But the number of Danish guests was also 20 percent lower.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Overnatning: overnight stay
  • Kollektiv trafik: public transportation
  • At indkapsle: to encapsulate

 

 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

NemID crashes, sunshine and summery weather, and Ukraine's EU candidacy are among the top news stories in Denmark this Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

NemID on the fritz for second day 

About a third of NemID users have been shut out of the platform for the past two days, broadcaster DR reports. That’s left them unable to access digital government services like SKAT’s tax portal and the citizen portal borger.dk as well as personal bank accounts online.  

Some users have also struggled to log in to MitID, which is set to replace NemID as the decade-old platform is phased out. 

Nets, the company behind NemID, attributes the outages to problems changing to a new server and couldn’t offer a timeline for when the problems would be resolved. 

“NemID has become part of our public infrastructure, so it’s as important as getting electricity out of the socket and water out of the tap,” Jan Pries Heje, a professor of IT and digitalisation at Roskilde University, told DR. 

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID 

Sunshine and summery weather

Yesterday’s warmth and sun will continue today, with few clouds in the sky and a high of 27 degrees. 

Fancy a dip? Check out last year’s list of ‘perfect swim spots.’ 

READ ALSO: These are Denmark’s 13 new perfect swim spots

Ukraine and Moldova approved as candidates for EU membership 

As of yesterday evening, Ukraine and Moldova cleared a significant hurdle to EU membership after a unanimous vote to approve their candidacy. It’s an extraordinarily quick progression in a process that usually takes years. 

The vote should be a source of encouragement for Ukrainians, Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said. “It is a signal to all the Ukrainian people and not least to those who are fighting on the front lines right now,” she said. 

Ukraine will have to convince member states the country has made sufficient progress in combatting corruption within the government and establishing the rule of law to make it to the finish line, though. 

Germany elevates gas supply chain issues to ’emergency’ status 

Our neighbor to the south has raised the level of alert for gas shortage to ’emergency,’ phase 2 of the EU system used to flag energy shortages. 

Germany had been in phase 1 — “early warning” — since March, newswire Ritzau reports. Denmark declared an early warning for its own gas supply this week. 

Direct government intervention — for instance, shutting off gas for certain non-essential companies — doesn’t come until phase 3. 

READ ALSO: What does Denmark’s ‘energy early warning’ mean for businesses and individuals? 

Danish frigate to join NATO fleet 

Denmark plans to send a frigate crewed with up to 135 soldiers to participate in NATO deterrence exercises in the North Atlantic, officials announced yesterday. The mission is led by the United States and joined by Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Canada.

“It is important to send strong signals that in the situation Europe is in, we stand together,” minister of defence Morten Bødskov said in a press conference.

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