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

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 Wednesday
Copenhagen Central Station on December 22nd. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix

Ban on flights from UK extended

Denmark’s ban on incoming flights to from the UK has been extended until midnight on Christmas Eve, the transport ministry has confirmed.

All passenger flights from the United Kingdom to Denmark were temporarily suspended two days ago due to the discovery of a faster-spreading variant of Covid-19 in southeastern England.

We’ll have a separate report on the extension on our website this morning.

Covid-19 infections curve ‘broken’ last week

Denmark is to enter a full national lockdown on Christmas Day, but some restrictions have already been in effect for a while. And there are signs that they are working, according to the national infectious disease agency, State Serum Institute (SSI).

“Since December 16th, test positivity of both PCR and antigen testing has shown that the restrictions are working,” SSI’s director Henrik Ullum wrote on Twitter.

We’ll have a report on the status of the virus in Denmark, including Ullum’s assessment of the restrictions, later today.

Busiest travel day of Christmas season… or is it?

December 23rd is normally the busiest day of the festive period on Danish public transport, as people make their way home for Christmas. This year, of course, is not like other years, and many passengers have cancelled DSB train tickets, according to the rail operator.

Less than half of passenger numbers are expected today compared to 2019, DR reports.

Swedish border closure impacts Bornholmers

Denmark has currently closed its borders to arrivals from the UK, meaning UK-based Danes are unable to return home for Christmas, as are Danish-based Brits who might have been visiting the UK (a trip made more difficult anyway due to the UK’s quarantine rules).

Sweden has also closed its borders to the UK as well as to Denmark, citing concerns over an influx of Danish Christmas shoppers, given high numbers of coronavirus infections in Copenhagen.

The Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, where islanders are typically reliant on travel through Sweden to get to the rest of Denmark, is particularly affected by the Swedish ban, and the Danish government is hoping Swedish authorities will change rules to allow Bornholmers to transit through Sweden.

READ ALSO: EU says blanket UK travel ban should end to allow people to return home

Last day of open shops this year

The incoming lockdown means that today is the last day in 2020 that shops will be open, apart from supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores which sell daily essentials.

The restrictions come into full effect on December 25th, but Christmas celebrations mean that stores will also be closed tomorrow.

Christmas is here

With the difficulties and concerns the coronavirus has presented all of us this year, not least during December, it feels easy to miss the fact that the time to celebrate Christmas is now upon us.

Our daily briefing will be a little more sporadic between now and the new year, but you can rely on us to report Danish rule changes, coronavirus news and any other updates that will affect our readers as and when they happen during the holiday period.

I’d like to wish all of our readers a safe and happy Christmas, wherever you are and regardless of how current circumstances have impacted the way you will be celebrating.

If you, like me, are celebrating Christmas in Denmark for the first time because you are unable to travel home, I hope you get the chance to enjoy Danish Christmas traditions.

This article, which we published last year, provides a glimpse of how much they mean to Danes.

Danish vocabulary

  • Jul – Christmas
  • Julemanden – Santa Claus, Father Christmas
  • Gaver – presents
  • Engel – angel
  • Stjerne – star
  • Juletræ – Christmas tree
  • Pynt – Decorations
  • Julefreden – Christmas peace
  • Glædelig jul – Merry Christmas


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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?