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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 rare image of sun in Denmark this December. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Quick Covid-19 tests to be used more prominently

People who want a quick result for their coronavirus test will so have broader options for a so-called fast test (lyntest) within the Danish health service.

The tests, which give a result the same day but are less accurate than the standard PCR Covid-19 tests, are likely to be offered more widely with healthy authorities currently negotiating with private suppliers.

That will increase Denmark’s testing capacity, but the public has been advised to take a cautious approach with the tests, which can give false negative (but not false positive) results. They are considered useful for identifying clusters of infections, but not ideal for ascertaining a person is infection-free before, for example, visiting an elderly relative.

Denmark registered an average of around 3,500 new cases of Covid-19 per day nationally over the weekend.

Hospital staff want non-essential procedures delayed

390 people are currently hospitalised in Denmark with Covid-19. The number is beginning to approach the peak for hospitalisations with the virus in the spring, when it exceeded 500.

Hospital staff are now feeling the strain of the large number of Covid-19 inpatients, Politiken reports, and unions for doctors and nurses have called for non-emergency procedures to be delayed – as they were in the spring.

Suspect goes AWOL in reckless driving trial

A man charged with causing death by dangerous driving in an accident on central Copenhagen bridge Langebro last year has not shown up for his trial.

The manslaughter trial was scheduled to begin on December 1st, but the suspect sent documentation to say he was abroad and also had coronavirus symptoms, Ritzau reports. The documentation was not sufficient for the court to approve his absence.

He is now on an international wanted list and police have been unable to arrest him, according to the report.

The prosecution has said the man was driving at 108 kilometres per hour when the accident occurred on July 23rd last year. A police officer was killed in the incident.

Weather update

Denmark has reportedly only seen one hour of sun this month – although that’s an hour more than they’ve had in Sweden.

The dull weather is expected to continue with cloudy skies and showers. Temperatures will range from 4 to 8 degrees Celsius with a light to moderate easterly or southeasterly wind.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Denmark's new corona strategy, Danes flocking to early retirement, and longer nights ahead are among the top news stories in Denmark this Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Start your day with this dreamy video from the Fanø kite festival, where about five thousand kite enthusiast convene on the shores of South Jutland every year.

@sweet.dreamersss

Nobody asked for it, but a slower/calmer video so you can see the kites in more detail and get a taste of the festival! #fyp #denmark #kite

♬ La dolce vita (In via Veneto) – Remastered 2017 – Carlo Savina

Shorter days and longer nights ahead 

The blackout curtains are (very slowly) on their way out — yesterday was the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, with an eye-wateringly early sunrise at 4:25 a.m. and sunset at 9:58 p.m.

We now begin the slow march to the winter solstice on December 21, when the sun will rise at 8:37 a.m. and set at an equally eye-watering 3:38 p.m. 

Prime minister to reveal new Covid-19 strategy today 

Prime minister Mette Frederiksen will discuss Denmark’s plans for managing the pandemic in the coming autumn and winter at a press conference at 10 a.m. 

She’ll present information on vaccination and testing strategies, according to newswire Ritzau. 

With no coronavirus restrictions in place, case counts are again on the rise in Denmark. Earlier this month, health minister Magnus Heunicke announced that re-introducing restrictions was off the table for the duration of the summer. 

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Omicron subvariant now dominant in Denmark 

Danes flock to early retirement scheme 

Early retirement is clearly an attractive prospect to many Danish workers, particularly craftspeople and slaughterhouse workers — more than 50,200 people have applied for the new ‘Arne pensions’ since August of 2021. 

The scheme allows people aged 61 or older who have spent more than 42 years in the labour market to retire before 65, which is the current age to draw a public pension in Denmark. 

Workers who have logged 44 years in the labour market can retire three years ahead of schedule, while 42 and 43 years  earn you a one or two year advance, respectively. 

This new policy, championed by Social Democrats in 2019, is somewhat out of step with the overall Danish plan to raise the retirement age in order to reduce pressure on pension funds, increase participation in an economy short on labour, and keep the number of years retirees draw their pensions constant despite increasing life expectancies. 

READ ALSO: Could Denmark delay plan to increase retirement age? 

Consumers report lowest confidence ever in Danish economy 

An analysis by government agency Statistics Denmark sets consumer confidence in the economy at its lowest point recorded.

Statistics Denmark calculates an index of consumer confidence by asking a representative sample of Danes about their views on their personal financial standing as well as the country’s.

Respondents are asked to compare their finances today with their finances a year ago, as well as what they expect their prospects to be a year from now. They’re also asked to weigh in on whether now is a good time to buy appliances like televisions or washing machines. Their answers are ranked on a scale from 100, meaning their situation is “much better” than a year ago,” to -100 for “much worse.” This year, the combined index landed at -24. 

Employment up — for now 

Meanwhile, employment continues to climb — another report from Statistics Denmark showed the country added 4,000 jobs from March to April, the latest in a 15-month streak of employment growth. 

According to Jeppe Juul Borre, chief economist at Arbejdernes Landsbank, there were more job postings in May than any previous May on record. 

However, between the war in Ukraine, price hikes, and supply chain issues, the trend is unlikely to last, Borre says.

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