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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 new partial lockdown will see home working again increase in Denmark. File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Face mask requirement extended until March

In keeping with the extension of national Covid-19 restrictions announced on Monday, the Danish transport ministry has confirmed that the mandatory use of facemasks on all public transport in Denmark will remain in place until March 1st next year.

“We have a large increase in infections right now, and the next few months of winter will need us to be extra careful,” transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said.

Compensation for lockdown-hit businesses under negotiation

Restaurants, cafés, bars and amusement parks are among businesses now closed or impacted by the lockdown in 38 Danish municipalities.

The ministry employment is continuing negotiations over compensation to businesses hit by the new lockdown. An agreement is expected to be reached today, according to broadcaster DR.

New high in daily infection numbers

As if to reinforce the urgency of the current Covid-19 situation in Denmark, yesterday, the first day of the partial lockdown, saw an all-time record high for daily infections, by quite some distance (although it should be noted that fewer people were tested during the spring wave).

2,558 new cases of the coronavirus were registered on Wednesday from 91,417 tests – the third-highest number of tests Denmark has ever carried out in one day.

The test positivity rate is 2.8 percent, notably higher than it was in November. Covid-19 inpatients in Denmark currently number 349, which is still lower than the spring peak, which was over 500. But the current figure is expected to rise.

Denmark charges Russian with spying for Moscow

Danish prosecutors said yesterday they were to charge a Russian citizen resident in Denmark with spying for Moscow's intelligence service, passing on energy technology secrets in particular.

You can read our report on that here.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

The need for foreign workers, an encouraging Covid snapshot, and incorrigible football fans are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Labour crisis: ‘we will need many more foreigners’ 

Unmet demand for labour in both private businesses and the public sector has reached a crisis point, according to an appeal to the government to reach a broader labour agreement. 

The municipalities will need 44,000 additional employees by 2030, the National Association of Municipalities says. Meanwhile, Danish businesses could hire 38,000 new workers immediately, according to the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), which represents the interests of about 19,000 Danish companies. 

Lars Sandahl Sørensen, managing director of DI, firmly believes the answer to the labour shortage lies outside Danish borders. 

“We will need many more foreigners,” Sørensen told Finans. “It is not about getting cheap labour, but about getting people at all. We are in a situation where we do not have employees to carry out the things on green change that we have already decided and that we would like on health and welfare.” 

READ MORE: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you aren’t an EU national? 

Encouraging Covid snapshot

The latest report from the State’s Serum Institute, the Danish infectious disease agency, says declining viral loads in the wastewater system suggest there’s a lower burden of infection in the country. 

Confirmed cases were down 19 percent between the week of July 11th to the week of July 18th, but since the number of PCR tests administered also decreased 15 percent that’s to be taken with a grain of salt. 

In the same period, new Covid hospital admissions fell nearly a quarter, with a significant decline in the elderly population. 

Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is still responsible for the lion’s share of Covid cases in Denmark, accounting for 92 percent of positive results in the week of July 18th. 

READ MORE: Which Covid self-tests should you buy (and avoid) in Denmark? 

Football fans send two to emergency room 

The double penalty zone authorities established around Brøndby stadium wasn’t enough to prevent more trips to the hospital. 

According to a press release from the Western Copenhagen Police, a group of Brøndby fans “stampeded” one of the stadium entrances prior to the club’s UEFA Conference League qualification match against Swiss side Basel last night. Three stadium stewards were injured, two of whom went to the emergency room. 

It’s unclear whether anyone has been charged in connection with the incident, but police are seeking additional information from anyone who may have witnessed the stampede at 7:12pm. 

Dreary weather to end summer holidays 

This weekend, the last holiday hurrah before many children return to school on Monday, won’t feel much like summer, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute. 

“There will be little or no sun and a few showers” with temperatures between 17 and 22 degrees says DMI meteorologist Mette Wagner. 

It’s a dramatic shift from Thursday, when the 30 degree weather was swept away by a strong rainstorm that dampened an Ed Sheeran concert in Copenhagen.