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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
Landscape near Roskilde on January 12th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Positive Covid-19 tests to be screened for B117 variant

Denmark is to begin testing all Covid-19 swabs for variants of the virus which authorities want to monitor, broadcaster DR reports this morning.

That means that swabs will be tested for the B117 variant, the more infectious form of Covid-19 first detected in the UK last month. Authorities in Denmark are concerned that the variant, which is spreading in the country, will cause a new spike in cases in coming weeks.

Testing for the variant means the national infectious agency, SSI, will have a better idea of its prevalence. For individuals who test positive for Covid-19, isolation requirements are the same regardless of which variant is detected.

READ ALSO: Denmark's Covid-19 infections in slight fall-off but infectious variant spreads

New testing sites to be used at borders

Small land border crossings with Germany are to be equipped with test centres enabling people to take rapid Covid-19 tests before crossing into Denmark, DR reports.

Under current rules, foreign nationals entering Denmark, including commuters, are required to present a negative Covid-19 test no more than 24 hours old.

The rules have already result in large numbers being refused entry at borders with Germany.

Vaccination centres open in greater Copenhagen

Four new vaccination centres begin operating in the Greater Copenhagen (Hovedstaden) health authority region today. Three are in Copenhagen (Øksnehallen, Bella Center and Ballerup) and one on Baltic Sea island Bornholm, which is part of the same regional administration.

Up to 600 people could be vaccinated today at Øksnehallen, normally a conference and exhibition centre, according to DR. People in risk groups and over the age of 65 (if they receive living assistance at home) are currently being offered the vaccine.

Denmark has so far vaccinated around two percent of its population.

COMPARE: How fast are European countries vaccinating their populations?

Danish company cuts donations to US politicians

Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has announced a halt on donations to United States politicians until further notice, reports Finans, the financial section of newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

The decision was made after the US Capitol in Washington DC was stormed last week by a violent mob of Donald Trump supporters.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Optøjer — disturbances, (angry) protests
  • At fordømme — to condemn
  • Bidrag — donation, contribution

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

The future of surrogate pregnancy in Denmark, whether women should be drafted, and sending Danish tanks to Ukraine are among the top news stories on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Advisory group recommends relaxing surrogacy restrictions 

The Danish Ethics Council, a government advisory body, officially recommends loosening restrictions on surrogate pregnancy, according to a press release. 

Currently, while it’s legal to be a surrogate mother in Denmark, it’s illegal to receive fertility treatment (such as artificial insemination). 

“Today, surrogacy cannot in practice take place in Denmark because the health professionals can’t help,” says Leif Vestergaard Pedersen, chairman of the Ethics Council. 

The Council also suggests that surrogacy itself should be considered part of fertility treatment for the prospective parents — and covered by the national health. 

READ MORE: Danish sperm banks want end to ban on home insemination

Unions: women in Denmark should also face military draft 

Three trade unions representing Denmark’s armed forces say conscription should apply to men and women equally, broadcaster DR reports

“As long as we only have conscription that includes men, women will be an afterthought. Someone who is not immediately considered as competent as men, and that is problematic,” Marie Sihm of the Association of Women Veterans told DR. 

Parties: Denmark could send ‘best tanks’ to Ukraine 

Party leaders tell DR they’re “open” to sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to aid in the war against Russia, if the Danish armed forces can spare them. 

Until now, Germany has blocked the donation of tanks to Ukraine due to concerns it could be seen as an escalation. That’s expected to end today, with Germany promising its own tanks for the war effort. 

Defense minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen says Denmark has no “current plan” to donate tanks to Ukraine. 

READ MORE: Danish military sends tanks on foreign mission for first time since 2003 

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