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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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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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