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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
Cakes at a bakery in Ringsted on Tuesday. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Flight ban from Dubai extended

A temporary ban on incoming flights from the United Arab Emirates was scheduled to expire today, but has now been extended by a week until February 2nd, the transport ministry confirmed.

The ban applies to all flights from the UAE, including transit flights.

Flights from the country were initially banned due to concerns about the reliability of Covid-19 tests in Dubai, but the UAE subsequently moved to reassure Denmark over its concerns.

Government to present reforms aimed at protecting vulnerable children

The government will today present a proposal that it says will protect vulnerable children by removing decisions over foster care from the auspices of municipalities.

Under the plan, regional foster family centres will manage placement of vulnerable children whose parents are not considered suitable for their custody.

“We will take on this task away from individual municipalities and within the new care centres,” social minister Astrid Kragh told broadcaster DR.

Charges announce against Støjberg in impeachment case

The exact wording of impeachment charges against former immigration minister Inger Støjberg has been confirmed, DR and other media report.

Støjberg will face trial for “being responsible” for “the Danish Immigration Service initiating and maintaining administration of accommodation” for asylum seekers that was “in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights,” according to DR.

Parliament will vote to formalise the charges on February 2nd.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s former immigration minister to face impeachment trial

Christiania ban extended a second time

A police ban preventing public use of parts of Christiania has been extended again and is now in place until February 3rd, Copenhagen Police said in a statement.

The ban, a so-called opholdsforbud, allows the public only to pass through, but not stop in the area. It was introduced earlier this month as a measure to reduce Covid-19 infections.

Our most recent article on the ban can be found here. We’ll have an updated version on our website later today.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

How Covid helped some Danes kick a cigarette habit, whether mistaken heat cheques need to be returned, and record-breaking energy prices are among the top news stories in Denmark on Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Mistaken heat cheques may need to be returned after all  

Perhaps don’t spend that 6,000 kroner windfall just yet — the minister of climate, energy, and supply wants to revisit whether people who received heating cheques by mistake should get to keep the money. 

The heating cheques are intended to support households heated by gas as prices soar, but the government used an online database that relies on self-reported information from homeowners to determine who was eligible. That meant some households that have since switched from gas to another heat source, or have even moved to a different residence altogether, received the cheques in error. 

Minister Dan Jørgensen told TV Avisen he’s asking the parties that supported the original legislation behind the heat cheques to discuss ways of recovering the misspent money. The legislation explicitly said that heat cheques sent in error not only should not be returned, but must not be paid back. 

The system’s goal was to get the money in the accounts of people who need it  as quickly as possible without the delay and added expense of an application process, which could also exclude the most vulnerable, broadcaster DR reports

Electricity price on Wednesday broke Danish record

At about 7 pm Wednesday evening, the price of a kilowatt-hour of energy reached 8.42 kroner, the highest figure recorded in the last 12 years according to TV2. 

Daily and weekly averages are also at record levels, Carsten Smidt, director of the Danish Supply Authority, told DR. According to Nord Pool, the electricity market that covers Nordic countries, prices are three times as high as the same period last year. 

“If prices remain at the current level, an ordinary average family with a variable contract will pay 15,000 kroner more this year than last year for their electricity bill,” economist Brian Friis Helmer of Arbejdernes Landsbank told DR. 

READ MORE: Denmark’s energy agency to look at possible saving measures 

Large fire on Amager extinguished

A Wednesday night fire in a pizzeria on Amagerbrogade, the main high street in Amager south of Copenhagen, spread to first floor apartments before it was extinguished, according to authorities. 

The cause of the fire remains undetermined, but no injuries have been reported. 

A kick in the (cigarette) butt: Danish cigarette smokers quit more often, smoked less during pandemic 

According to new research from the University of Copenhagen, more Danish cigarette smokers kicked the habit or reduced their dependence during the height of the pandemic in 2020. 

Smokers bought 20 percent fewer cigarettes on a weekly basis in 2020 than before lockdowns began, and the number of people who quit cigarettes altogether increased 10 percent relative to the year before. 

“We can learn from it that smokers actually react to it when they can see the consequences [of smoking] more clearly right now and here,” University of Copenhagen associate professor Toke Reinholt Fosgaard told newswire Ritzau. 

“You can use prices and make it more expensive to smoke, but you can also try to shift information and awareness around the consequences so that it feels closer,” he added. 

It’s unclear whether the people who quit or reduced their consumption of cigarettes during the pandemic were able to keep it up after 2020, though researchers say they’re hopeful data from 2021 will show a lasting change.

READ MORE: Denmark considers permanent ban on cigarette sales for people born after 2010 

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