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

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 Friday
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Lockdown and travel restrictions continue until March

The government announced yesterday evening that the current national lockdown – entailing the closure of schools, restaurants, non-essential stores, sports and culture facilities; and public assembly limits of no more than five people among other restrictions – will continue until March.

At the same time, travel restrictions in and out of Denmark were also extended, meaning entry rules and requirements for a negative Covid-19 test on entry continue, like the lockdown, up to and including February 28th.

More detail here on the lockdown extension and here for the extended travel restrictions.

Fall in unemployment for seventh consecutive month

Unemployment in Denmark fell in December 2020 by about 2,000 people, the seventh month in a row the number has dropped, news wire Ritzau reports based on Statistics Denmark figures.

The overall number of unemployed people currently stands at 125,600. Despite the recovery in recent months, that represents an increase of 21,700 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Festival organiser nervous over potential cancellation

With the restriction limiting assembly to five people now in place until the spring, there are signs festival organisers are concerned that their events in 2021 could go the same way as last year’s and face cancellation.

The leader of one of the first festivals on the calendar, Jelling Festival, told broadcaster DR the situation is “frustrating”.

“I think we have a month or maybe a month and a half before it really starts to get tight,” Lars ‘Charlie’ Mortensen told DR.

The festival is scheduled to begin on May 20th.

Sun and snow forecast for weekend weather

A bright and crisp weekend is expected for most of the country, with some local snowfall and temperatures creeping up over freezing point on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday will be a little colder and more overcast than the rest of the weekend. Thursday night saw temperatures dip to 8 degrees under zero, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

NemID crashes, sunshine and summery weather, and Ukraine's EU candidacy are among the top news stories in Denmark this Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

NemID on the fritz for second day 

About a third of NemID users have been shut out of the platform for the past two days, broadcaster DR reports. That’s left them unable to access digital government services like SKAT’s tax portal and the citizen portal borger.dk as well as personal bank accounts online.  

Some users have also struggled to log in to MitID, which is set to replace NemID as the decade-old platform is phased out. 

Nets, the company behind NemID, attributes the outages to problems changing to a new server and couldn’t offer a timeline for when the problems would be resolved. 

“NemID has become part of our public infrastructure, so it’s as important as getting electricity out of the socket and water out of the tap,” Jan Pries Heje, a professor of IT and digitalisation at Roskilde University, told DR. 

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID 

Sunshine and summery weather

Yesterday’s warmth and sun will continue today, with few clouds in the sky and a high of 27 degrees. 

Fancy a dip? Check out last year’s list of ‘perfect swim spots.’ 

READ ALSO: These are Denmark’s 13 new perfect swim spots

Ukraine and Moldova approved as candidates for EU membership 

As of yesterday evening, Ukraine and Moldova cleared a significant hurdle to EU membership after a unanimous vote to approve their candidacy. It’s an extraordinarily quick progression in a process that usually takes years. 

The vote should be a source of encouragement for Ukrainians, Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said. “It is a signal to all the Ukrainian people and not least to those who are fighting on the front lines right now,” she said. 

Ukraine will have to convince member states the country has made sufficient progress in combatting corruption within the government and establishing the rule of law to make it to the finish line, though. 

Germany elevates gas supply chain issues to ’emergency’ status 

Our neighbor to the south has raised the level of alert for gas shortage to ’emergency,’ phase 2 of the EU system used to flag energy shortages. 

Germany had been in phase 1 — “early warning” — since March, newswire Ritzau reports. Denmark declared an early warning for its own gas supply this week. 

Direct government intervention — for instance, shutting off gas for certain non-essential companies — doesn’t come until phase 3. 

READ ALSO: What does Denmark’s ‘energy early warning’ mean for businesses and individuals? 

Danish frigate to join NATO fleet 

Denmark plans to send a frigate crewed with up to 135 soldiers to participate in NATO deterrence exercises in the North Atlantic, officials announced yesterday. The mission is led by the United States and joined by Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Canada.

“It is important to send strong signals that in the situation Europe is in, we stand together,” minister of defence Morten Bødskov said in a press conference.

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