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

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 Tuesday
A cafe off the E45 motorway in central Jutland. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Partial lockdown of Denmark begins tomorrow

Yesterday’s major news, the partial lockdown of 38 Danish municipalities over the Christmas and New Year period, is high on the agenda today with restaurant owners and schoolgoers amongst those hardest-hit by the latest period of struggle to contain the coronavirus.

We outlined in an article yesterday how people living in the affected municipalities will be affected by lockdown rules even if they travel to parts of the country which aren’t under the lockdown. We’ll continue to report on elements of lockdown that will impact the everyday lives of our readers in Denmark. The new restrictions come into force tomorrow.

Prime minister to face questions in parliament

During yesterday’s briefing at which she announced the lockdown, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen batted away new questions from journalists about the government’s management of the mink coronavirus outbreak last month. She is unlikely to find that so easy to do today when she will be grilled by fellow lawmakers in parliament. Frederiksen’s administration is still under political pressure over an illegal directive to cull healthy mink.

READ ALSO: Danish PM apologises for handling of mink crisis during far farm visit

2020 set to be record low year for fatal road traffic accidents

With just over three weeks left of the year, 2020 is on course to set a record low for the number of losses of life in road traffic accidents, Jyllands-Posten reports.

Traffic analysts expect the total for the year to remain under 160, which would be lower than the current record of 167, from 2012. Last year saw 199 people lose their lives in road traffic accidents in Denmark.

An expert from the Danish Road Directorate told the newspaper she believes safety initiatives and the number of cars on the roads in 2020 are both factors in the lower total. She also said that people’s concerns about Covid-19 might have transferred to a more cautious approach to driving.

Danish man to be tried in Finland for 1987 ferry murder

Finnish prosecutors have charged a Danish man over the death of a German backpacker and wounding of his girlfriend on a passenger ferry, more than three decades after the incident, news agency AFP reports.

The two students from West Germany, on a tour of the Nordic countries, were discovered with serious head injuries in the open-air sleeping area on the upper deck of the Viking Sally cruise ship on July 28th, 1987.

The Danish suspect denies murder and attempted murder and has not been taken into custody, prosecutors said, refusing to comment on whether the suspect was currently in Finland.

Prince tests positive for Covid-19

Prince Christian, the son of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary and second in line to the Danish throne, has tested positive for coronavirus, the Royal Palace confirmed in a statement yesterday.

The 15-year-old prince was tested after an outbreak at his school in Hellerup north of Copenhagen. The prince will now go into isolation along with his siblings and parents but has not been in contact with other members of the royal family, the palace said.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Udvidet: extended
  • Trafiksikkerhed: road safety
  • Færge: ferry

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Gale force winds and hail, 'automatic' organ donation, and whether to inform landowners of possible PFAS contamination are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Gale force winds, hail in forecasts 

Denmark can look forward to blustery weather this week, according to the latest forecasts by the Danish Meteorological Institute. “A grey and wet January is drawing to a close and it looks like the month is slamming the door with a bang,” DMI meteorologist Anesten Devasakayam writes. 

On Monday, January 30th, areas across the country will experience strong winds, Devaskayam says, as well as occasional hail. The wind is expected to keep pace as the week progresses, with brief reprieves on Tuesday and Thursday. 

READ MORE: Essential rain gear for a wet Danish winter (and spring, summer, autumn) 

Government reluctant to inform landowners of possible PFAS contamination 

Opposition parties say it’s unacceptable for the Danish Regions and national government to drag their feet on informing people their land could be contaminated with PFAS, ‘forever chemicals’ linked to health problems including cancer. 

The Regions, which are responsible for environmental cleanups in Denmark, have identified 16,000 plots they suspect are contaminated with PFAS due to industry activity. However, they have yet to inform the people who live there. That’s because the Regions plan to test each plot individually before reaching out — a process that could take decades without a dramatic increase in funding, according to broadcaster DR. 

Food grown in contaminated soil accumulates PFAS, and the Regions have identified many gardens and allotments that might be affected.

“When the Regions have this knowledge, I also think we need to inform the population whether it is their garden or farmland or a kindergarten that is located where there may actually be severe contamination,” Mai Villadsen of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) told DR. 

READ MORE: PFAS found in organic eggs in Denmark 

Minister of Health: everyone in Denmark should automatically be organ donors 

Currently, Danes have to ‘opt in’ for organ donation —and fewer than one in three do, according to the National Board of Health. 

Health Minister Sophie Løhde contends that Denmark should join many other EU countries that have in recent years switched from opting in to organ donation to opting out. 

She says a ‘soft’ variant of the opt-out system could mean everyone automatically becomes organ donors after they turn 18, but family members still have the final say if the deceased hasn’t made their wishes explicit. 

However, the Danish Ethics Council, a government advisory body, believes in maintaining the opt-in status quo. 

“The right to control oneself and one’s own body is an important principle of health care. Therefore, our recommendation is that we stick to the principles that exist today,” says the council’s Leif Vestergaard. 

You can change your organ donation status here on sundhed.dk. In 2022, 21 patients in Denmark died waiting to receive an organ. 

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