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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
Covid-19 testing at the Parken football stadium in Copenhagen. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Incoming UK flights banned over new Covid-19 strain

Denmark has joined a growing list of European countries in banning flights from the United Kingdom, after the discovery of a faster-spreading variant of Covid-19. The decision was made to prevent a new strain of Covid-19 found in the UK from spreading, health minister Magnus Heunicke said.

The new variant of the coronavirus is believed to have first appeared in the London and Kent areas of the UK in September, and is reported to be up to 70 percent more contagious than other strains. But based on what scientists know so far, the variant does not appear to cause more serious illness than other kinds of coronavirus.

More detail can be found in our report.

Millions of culled minks to be exhumed

Four million minks culled in Denmark over a mutant coronavirus strain will be dug up next year to prevent pollution, if parliament agrees.

The government has been forced to admit pits near Holstebro and Karup are an environmental risk to the water table and nearby lakes. The ministry said that the danger of pollution was not urgent.

The decision is the latest twist to a long-running and damaging saga for the government. You can find our report here.

New ‘epidemic law’ announced

A political majority has given its backing to a new bill providing for a new epidemic law to replace the emergency law passed at the outset of the Covid-19 epidemic in Denmark.

The bill, announced over the weekend, is significantly different from an earlier proposal which the government withdraw due to popular and political opposition over the far-reaching powers it could have given authorities.

One particularly criticised element, which would have allowed forced vaccination in order to contain and eliminate a dangerous disease in certain situations, is not in the new bill.

We’ll have more details in a report later today.

New cases of Covid-19 lower on Saturday and Sunday

Daily confirmed cases of coronavirus over the weekend were more encouraging than those at the end of last week.

Thursday's total exceeded 4,000 cases in a day for the first time, with 4,034 cases detected from 124,707 tests. On Friday, 4,508 cases were registered from 141,172 tests.

Saturday saw 3,285 new cases detected from 126,672 tests, and on Sunday the number was 2,828 from 116,414 tests. These figures do not include results from the so-called ‘fast tests’ (lyntest)which were recently introduced to boost overall capacity.

Experts have advised caution, saying it is too early to draw conclusions about any trend, and have warned hospitalisation will continue to increase over Christmas and New Year. Denmark currently has 661 people admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A rare day of sunshine, a major fire in Copenhagen, and energy companies forced to 'give back' a billion kroner are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Sunshine ahead 

Denmark can look forward to a rare day of winter sun on Friday, according to the latest from the Danish Meteorological Institute. 

DMI meteorologist Klaus Larsen says temperatures will hover above freezing and the wind will be manageable today as the clouds part. 

It will be a brief reprieve, however — the clouds will return promptly for the weekend. Take an hour to sit yourself outside like a potted plant. 

READ ALSO: Why Denmark’s extra grey January can cause winter blues, and what might help

Massive fire in west Copenhagen due to possible explosion 

A “major” fire on Damhus Boulevard took 21 vehicles and 49 firefighters to subdue, according to tweets from the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department. 

The fire broke out in an occupied building currently undergoing renovation, the Fire Department says. A news outlet that was on the scene while the fire was still active reports the emergency began with an explosion, which appears to be corroborated by images of the scene that show debris scattered well away from the building. 

Mads Dam of the Western Copenhagen police told news agency Ritzau that he couldn’t provide any information about the cause of the fire. “It all needs to cool down before our technicians can come in and examine it,” Dam said. 

Tax minister: energy companies owe Danes a billion kroner 

Energy companies will have to fork over 1.2 billion kroner of the last year’s windfall to the Danish treasury, tax minister Jeppe Bruus told business news outlet Finans. 

“We will return that money to consumers in the forthcoming negotiations on inflation relief,” Bruus said. He added that the 1.2 billion kroner sum is a fraction of what was expected to be recovered, which had been estimated at more than 10 billion. 

In September, European Commission announced plans to cap to energy company profits as well as levy collections from fossil energy companies to the tune of 140 billion euros, news agency Ritzau reports. 

READ ALSO: How much will energy cost in 2023 in Denmark compared to 2022?