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

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 Thursday
File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

Government calls urgent meeting on rapid Covid-19 tests

A plan to offer rapid Covid-19 testing to staff at municipal care centres and childcare facilities is lagging, national broadcaster DR reports.

The testing is considered to be an important tool in tracing local infection clusters. Justice minister Nick Hækkerup has summoned municipal mayors to a meeting aimed at getting the rapid testing up and running.

Lowest number of asylum seekers ever registered in 2020

A combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and stringent rules and policies resulted in the lowest number of asylum seekers being registered in Denmark since records began in their current form in 1998.

2020 saw a total of 1,547 asylum seekers, according to a statement from the Ministry of Immigration and Integration.

That is less than one tenth of the number recorded in 2015, when 21,316 people applied for asylum in Denmark at the peak of the European migration crisis.

We’ll have a more detailed report on this later today.

Positive news on potential delivery of Covid-19 vaccines

Health authorities said yesterday that the national Covid-19 vaccination programme would be revised after supplier Pfizer confirmed a reduction in deliveries in coming months. But there may be some relief on the horizon.

Newspaper Berlingske reports that Denmark could receive up to 700,000 vaccine doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in February, should the company’s vaccine be confirmed by the European Medicines Agency by the end of January, as is expected.

The Danish Medicines Agency has not confirmed the number.

Almost a third of people have reduced their meat consumption

Almost one in three people in Denmark have cut down on how much meat they eat, according to a new study from Aarhus University involving a survey of 3,000 people aged 18-70.

According to the study, 30 percent of people told researchers they had reduced or cut out meat in their diets. 12 percent said this had happened within the last six months, and 18 percent said they had cut down over a longer term.

Even though 30 percent said they now eat less meat, 38 percent of this group still eat meat daily, the study found.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

A plan to shut down job centers, new resources for young people with eating disorders, and Tivoli's bottom line are among the top news stories in Denmark on Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Liberal party presents plan to shut down job centers 

The current employment system is unsalvageable and will need to be rebuilt from the ground up, according to a new plan presented by the Liberal party. 

Their vision focuses on reducing bureaucracy and spending on the job centers themselves — of the 12 billion kroner spent on employment in Denmark annually, five billion kroner goes to the running of job centers, newswire Ritzau reports. The Liberals are also eyeing cuts to benefit rates in the first three months of unemployment, as well as re-introducing a cash assistance ceiling. 

READ MORE: A-kasse: Everything foreigners in Denmark need to know about unemployment insurance 

New resource for young people with eating disorders, self-harming behaviors 

There’s a new way for children and youth to reach out for help with eating disorders and self-harm online. 

The Association for Eating Disorders and Self-Injury has opened up a messaging platform on spiseforstyrrelse.dk to connect struggling young people with volunteers trained to help counsel them on their options. 

The Association currently receives about 4,000 inquiries annually by phone or email, and it’s hoped the new service could reach an additional 500 young people in need of help. 

“Many find it difficult to seek help and to find the courage to call us,” association director Laila Walther tells Ritzau. “We want to make it easier.” 

Tivoli edges closer to pre-pandemic profits 

Copenhagen amusement park Tivoli has seen booming business this summer, according to their profit statements for the first half of the year. Several red-letter days, including the presentation of the Tour de France cycling teams which drew a stunning 15,000 people, have contributed to “visitor numbers that exceed expectations,” their midyear report said. 

While attendance levels haven’t quite reached pre-pandemic levels, more international tourists are lining up for the Tivoli experience, director Susanne Mørch Koch said. 

READ MORE: Tour de France gets rapturous reception in Copenhagen 

Regular Covid testing returns for nursing home employees 

With autumn on the horizon, staff at nursing homes and home health care workers will receive PCR tests every 14 days, according to a new directive from the State’s Serum Institute, Denmark’s infectious disease agency. 

Visitors of nursing home residents over the age of 85 are also encouraged to test before arriving, though it’s not required. 

Henrik Ullum from the SSI says this doesn’t foreshadow a return to widespread testing for the greater population. “The most important thing is first of all not to go to work” if you’re experiencing symptoms of a Covid-like illness, he explains. 

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