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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
File photo: Anthon Unger/Ritzau Scanpix

Foreign ministry advises against all travel to the UK

The Danish foreign ministry is now advising against all travel to the United Kingdom in an effort to reduce a mutated, faster-spreading variant of Covid-19.

Additionally, all flight passengers from the UK must now provide documentation of a negative Covid-19 test less than 24 hours old before travelling to Denmark.

All foreign nationals who live in the UK (including British citizens) are still banned from entering Denmark, a continuation of rules introduced in December. Brits who reside in Denmark and Danes who live in the UK are allowed to travel if they show a negative test at the time of travel, as outlined above.

We’ll have full detail of this in a separate article today.

Contagious variant spreading in Denmark

The more contagious variant of Covid-19 first reported in the United Kingdom is spreading rapidly in Denmark, reports newspaper Dagbladet Information – which has gone with the terms “English virus variant” and “English corona mutation” in its headline and article.

National infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) issued on Saturday a status report on the spread in Denmark of the variant, which has the technical name of cluster B.1.1.7.

The variant has been detected in 86 cases of Covid-19 infection in Denmark, but the actual number may be as much as ten times greater.

The proportion of genetically sequenced Covid-19 test samples in which B.1.1.7 was detected increased to 2.3 percent of all sequenced tests in the last week of 2020, according to SSI.

“It looks like there is actual societal spread (of the variant) in Denmark rather than isolated travel-related cases,” professor and researcher in virus infections and epidemics Thea Kølsen Fischer told Information.

Back to school, but staying at home

The end of the Christmas holidays means that Denmark’s schoolchildren return to classes today. They will attend from home under the rules of the country’s now-extended national lockdown.

The situation is likely to be particularly challenging for families with young children who must combine working from home with facilitating their kids’ learning.

National broadcaster DR has a report today on how parents, children and teachers are facing up to the prospect of a new spell of home learning, and its potential longer-term consequences.

“Our motivation at school is relatively low at the moment,” the head of the Danish association for headteachers Claus Hjordal said to DR.

In April 2020, Denmark was the first country in Europe to re-open its schools after locking down due to Covid-19.

Politicians to discuss vaccine at meeting

Health spokespersons from the parliamentary parties are scheduled to meet with health minister Magnus Heunicke today to discuss topics including vaccination against Covid-19 and the more contagious variant which has spread in the UK, according to DR.

The exact agenda for the meeting is unclear, as is the government’s thinking with regard to potential new measures against the virus, the broadcaster reports.

Danish vocabulary

  • Fjernundervisning – remote classes
  • Forholdsvis – relatively
  • Bopæl – (place of) residence
  • Smitsom – contagious

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TODAY IN DENMARK

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. 

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