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

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 Thursday
The Queen's residence, Amalienborg, with the Marble Church in the background. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Prime Minister to visit with Queen over ministerial change

PM Mette Frederiksen will today visit Queen Margrethe to ‘present changes to the government’, as is the custom when one or more ministers are replaced.

Agriculture minister Mogens Jensen stepped down from his position yesterday after his handling of a mink cull received broad criticism in parliament.

Denmark is currently in the process of culling all fur farm minks in the country after mutated forms of coronavirus were detected in the animals, but the initial order to destroy the minks was not legal.

The identity of Jensen’s replacement is so far unknown.

Low-cost airline Norwegian on the brink

Europe's third-biggest low-cost airline Norwegian, which prior to the Covid-19 epidemic operated a large number of routes from Denmark, filed for bankruptcy protection in Ireland yesterday afternoon for two of its main subsidiaries.

Already saddled in debt before the pandemic, the company, like the rest of the airline industry, has been hit hard by the economic consequences of the coronavirus.

Results published from Danish study on effect Covid-19 infection risk for wearers of face masks

A major Danish study has found face masks give no clear protection from Covid-19 infection to the wearer.

It is important to note, however, that the study looked exclusively at the protective effects of masks for the wearer, and not at the wearer's ability to protect others.

As such, the study cannot be used to draw conclusions on the general merits of using face masks as an effective preventative measure against Covid-19 infection, the researchers behind the study said in a statement released by Rigshospitalet.

You can read our report on the study here.

Foreign ministry committee to attend extraordinary meeting

Parliament’s foreign policy committee (Udenrigspolitisk Nævn) is to attend an extraordinary meeting today.

No ministers sit on the committee usually, but foreign minister Jeppe Kofod and justice minister Nick Hækkerup are both expected to attend today’s meeting, DR reports.

“Orientation on border restrictions and travel guidelines” is the sole point on the agenda, according to the broadcaster.

Denmark’s foreign ministry regularly updates its foreign travel recommendations on Thursdays. We’ll report any major changes or announcements as we get them.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Ændringer: changes
  • Konkurs: bankrupt, insolvent
  • Forskning: (scientific) research
  • At beskytte: to protect

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A Dane going to space, beefing up the Danish navy, and increasing Covid cases are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Covid cases increase as holidays end

The number of positive PCR tests in Denmark is again on the rise with people returning to work and school after summer holidays, according to the latest data from the State’s Serum Institute, Denmark’s infectious disease agency.  

From the last week of July to the first week of August, cases rose 18 percent, while the positive percentage grew to 27 percent. 

“Activity in our society is increasing, and people may also be more aware of getting tested for symptoms in connection with starting work and education,” says Tyra Grove Krause, professional director of the SSI. 

Central and North Jutland have seen the highest overall infection rates, while nationwide 40-59 year olds are seeing the most positive tests. 

Data on incidence rates are more likely to be an underestimate given Denmark’s dramatically reduced public testing program, which saw all quick test sites and all but a handful of PCR test sites shuttered in the spring. On August 15, authorities further restricted guidelines for who should be tested if they experience Covid symptoms — now, the official guidance is that testing is only recommended for people who are 65 years old or over, pregnant, or have a condition that causes a higher risk of sever outcomes for Covid-19. 

Danish astronaut announces mission to space 

Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen will spend six months at the International Space Station as part of Mission Huginn — named after one of two ravens from Norse mythology that flew around the world to gather news for the god Odin.

Instead of news of the world, Mogensen will be gathering information about “sleep and well-being in space” as well as attempt to 3D print metal components, all essential for potential longer-term space travel to destinations like Mars. 

Denmark to strengthen naval fleet with eye to Russia 

Defense minister Morten Bodskov announced a significant investment in the Danish navy on Thursday.

Over the next 20 years, 40 billion kroner will be spent to upgrade the Danish fleet. “We are facing a serious situation in Europe. There is war in Europe. We have just been through a corona pandemic, and common to both is that it has created problems for our security of supply,” Bodskov told reporters, according to newswire the Agence France-Presse. 

“It is not viable, especially in times of war in Europe, for the Danish defence to have problems getting ships and other equipment built,” he added. “That is why we are taking action now” with industry partners to build our own warships. 

READ MORE: From June: Russian warship violates Danish waters

Danish politicians may visit Taiwan 

Members of Danish parliament from six political parties are ready to travel to Taiwan after a possible election this autumn, newspaper Politiken reports. 

“Taiwan must not be isolated in the way that China wants it to be. They must not succeed in that,” Michael Aastrup Jensen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Liberal party (Venstre) told Politiken. 

The six parties that have signed on to a possible trip are the Conservatives, the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Social Liberals (Radikale), the Danish People’s Party, the Liberal party, and the new Danish Democrats party. 

However, some, including Socialist People’s Party foreign affairs spokesman Karsten Hønge, say stirring the pot in Taiwan could cause more harm than good. 

READ MORE: From 2019: Copenhagen Zoo removes Taiwan from display map to get loan pandas from China