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PROTEST

Hundreds protest Covid restrictions in Denmark

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Copenhagen on Saturday night to protest Denmark's Covid-19 restrictions and the country's plans for a digital vaccination certificate.

Hundreds protest Covid restrictions in Denmark
The Men in Black demonstration against Covid restrictions in Copenhagen, Saturday 6 February 2021. Photo: Emil Helms / Ritzau Scanpix

Organised by a group calling itself “Men in Black,” some 600 people gathered in the bitter cold in front of the parliament building to protest the “dictatorship” of Denmark's partial lockdown.

Plans for a digital vaccine “passport” were a main target of their anger.

Like other European countries, Denmark intends to develop a digital certificate for Covid-19 vaccination for travel.

It could also potentially be used for sports and cultural events as well as restaurants.

Protest organisers say such a passport implies an obligation to be vaccinated and amounts to a further restriction on individual freedom. Vaccination is not compulsory in Denmark.

Demonstrators, including some wearing hoods, marched with torches in the centre of the Danish capital, chanting “we have had enough” and “freedom for Denmark.”

Protestors demonstrated against restrictions, vaccine passports and vaccinations against Covid-19. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Photo: Emil Helms / Ritzau Scanpix

The authorised march was however largely peaceful, with a large contingent of police deployed.

Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

“Men in Black” has previously arranged demonstrations in Aalborg and Copenhagen, which ended with riots and several arrests.

Two weeks ago, there was a similar protest in Copenhagen which included the burning of an effigy of the prime minister, leading to the arrest of two men for threats against Frederiksen.

Non-essential shops, bars and restaurants are currently closed in Denmark and the government has extended the restrictions until at least February 28th. Primary schools can however reopen on Monday.

 

 

 

 

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COVID-19 RULES

Denmark’s infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

Travellers from China should not need a negative Covid-19 test when arriving in Denmark, the national infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute recommended on Saturday, in an assessment sent to the Ministry of Health.

Denmark's infectious disease agency does not recommend Covid tests for China arrivals

In the assessment by the State Serum Institute (SSI), it was noted that there aren’t expected to be a large number of arrivals coming directly from China and that any tests would have a marginal affect on Danish epidemic control.

However SSI wrote that it was still important to keep an eye on new variants of Covid-19 and suggested that a sample of voluntary-based PCR tests could be introduced for travellers from China.

The assessment was requested by Denmark’s health minister Sophie Løhde, following a recommendation on Wednesday by European Union experts to tighten travel rules.

Infection rates in China are high after it abolished its ‘zero Covid’ policy in late 2022, although no precise numbers are available.

Several European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and the UK, had already introduced testing requirements, while Sweden on Thursday announced a similar step, as did Germany, with an added announcement on Saturday to discourage non-essential travel from Germany to China.

The United States, Canada, India, South Korea and Taiwan have also put testing rules in place.

Health minister Sophie Løhde also asked SSI to assess testing waste water from aircraft landed from China. SSI responded that there is limited experience in this.

SSI currently analyses samples from shared toilet tanks at four airports twice a week – Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg and Billund. The method would have to be changed in order to detect new Covid-19 variants, which would take up to four weeks to implement, according to the assessment.

Løhde has informed the parliamentary parties about the assessment and has asked the Epidemic Commission for an advisory assessment, she said in a press release. Once this is done, the recommendations will be discussed. 

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