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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
The Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden lit up in Danish national colours after the handball World Cup final. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT/Ritzau Scanpix

Elderly residents unsure over vaccination appointments

Vaccinations against Covid-19 are progressing in Denmark, despite the challenges posed by reduced deliveries from suppliers.

Vaccines will now be offered to the next group for prioritisation: people over the age of 85 who live in their own homes and do not receive living assistance.

Charity Ældre Sagen has raised concerns that many are experiencing confusion over booking systems and telephone queuing and many lack transport to vaccination centres, broadcaster DR reports. That could lead to some elderly residents giving up taking the vaccine, the charity said.

Rapid Covid-19 test centre numbers reduced

The national lockdown is having a clear effect on coronavirus infection numbers, with 377 new cases registered from 126,275 tests on Sunday, giving a test positivity rate of 0.3 percent. The lockdown will, however, stay in place until the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the number of private centres offering rapid Covid-19 tests is to be reduced to 33 across the country, DR writes. That is partly because new providers take over the contract from today.

Although permanent test centres will be fewer, more mobile test units are to be deployed.

Amnesty on pepper spray handover after law change

Anyone in possession of pepper spray in Denmark can hand the weapon over to authorities in February and March without incurring any form of penalty.

Parliament recently voted to outlaw possession of pepper spray for home defence, reversing a 2019 law. The sprays were used more often for aggressive purposes than for defence, lawmakers including justice minister Nick Hækkerup said as they outlawed the item.

They will still be permitted in special circumstances, including for victims of stalking and others with special permissions.

Denmark are handball world champions for second time in two years

Denmark defeated Sweden 26-24 to win a second successive men's world handball title on Sunday with Mikkel Hansen grabbing seven goals and goalkeeper Niklas Landin pulling off a series of stunning saves, according to news wire AFP’s report from the final in Cairo.

“It was Niklas Landin who made all the difference,” Danish winger Emil Jakobsen told AFP.

“He stopped everything in the last few minutes and it's thanks to those saves that we won.”

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A Dane going to space, beefing up the Danish navy, and increasing Covid cases are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Covid cases increase as holidays end

The number of positive PCR tests in Denmark is again on the rise with people returning to work and school after summer holidays, according to the latest data from the State’s Serum Institute, Denmark’s infectious disease agency.  

From the last week of July to the first week of August, cases rose 18 percent, while the positive percentage grew to 27 percent. 

“Activity in our society is increasing, and people may also be more aware of getting tested for symptoms in connection with starting work and education,” says Tyra Grove Krause, professional director of the SSI. 

Central and North Jutland have seen the highest overall infection rates, while nationwide 40-59 year olds are seeing the most positive tests. 

Data on incidence rates are more likely to be an underestimate given Denmark’s dramatically reduced public testing program, which saw all quick test sites and all but a handful of PCR test sites shuttered in the spring. On August 15, authorities further restricted guidelines for who should be tested if they experience Covid symptoms — now, the official guidance is that testing is only recommended for people who are 65 years old or over, pregnant, or have a condition that causes a higher risk of sever outcomes for Covid-19. 

Danish astronaut announces mission to space 

Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen will spend six months at the International Space Station as part of Mission Huginn — named after one of two ravens from Norse mythology that flew around the world to gather news for the god Odin.

Instead of news of the world, Mogensen will be gathering information about “sleep and well-being in space” as well as attempt to 3D print metal components, all essential for potential longer-term space travel to destinations like Mars. 

Denmark to strengthen naval fleet with eye to Russia 

Defense minister Morten Bodskov announced a significant investment in the Danish navy on Thursday.

Over the next 20 years, 40 billion kroner will be spent to upgrade the Danish fleet. “We are facing a serious situation in Europe. There is war in Europe. We have just been through a corona pandemic, and common to both is that it has created problems for our security of supply,” Bodskov told reporters, according to newswire the Agence France-Presse. 

“It is not viable, especially in times of war in Europe, for the Danish defence to have problems getting ships and other equipment built,” he added. “That is why we are taking action now” with industry partners to build our own warships. 

READ MORE: From June: Russian warship violates Danish waters

Danish politicians may visit Taiwan 

Members of Danish parliament from six political parties are ready to travel to Taiwan after a possible election this autumn, newspaper Politiken reports. 

“Taiwan must not be isolated in the way that China wants it to be. They must not succeed in that,” Michael Aastrup Jensen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Liberal party (Venstre) told Politiken. 

The six parties that have signed on to a possible trip are the Conservatives, the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Social Liberals (Radikale), the Danish People’s Party, the Liberal party, and the new Danish Democrats party. 

However, some, including Socialist People’s Party foreign affairs spokesman Karsten Hønge, say stirring the pot in Taiwan could cause more harm than good. 

READ MORE: From 2019: Copenhagen Zoo removes Taiwan from display map to get loan pandas from China