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

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 Thursday
'We look forward to being allowed to open - on Monday!': A sign in a shop window in Aalborg. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Shops to reopen on Monday, but what to do with winter stock? 

The government announced yesterday that Covid-19 restrictions will be eased slightly from Monday. Smaller shops which sell durable goods are one sector which can look forward to operating again in March. Senior school classes in some regions will also see a (reduced capacity) return.

READ ALSO: Denmark announces easing of Covid-19 restrictions: Limited opening of schools and shops

Clothes shops returning to business face an unusual set of challenges given the impending change of season, broadcaster DR reports.

Stores have a huge back stock of winter clothes which they didn’t sell during the lockdown and are reopening as temperatures creep upwards towards double figures and the air is mild and dry.

A spokesperson for a clothing industry interest organisation told DR that it would be a “huge challenge” to sell winter stocks.

Other businesses to remain shut

Other businesses face arguably harder times following yesterday’s announcement. Customer-facing services like hair salons, gyms and masseurs are to remain shuttered, while cafes, bars and restaurants will continue to be limited to takeaway services.

READ ALSO: Which Covid-19 restrictions will stay in place in Denmark beyond March 1st?

Shortly after the March restrictions were announced yesterday, an interest organisation for the restaurant sector called for the government to give an idea of when it might be able to open again, even though it’s now clear this won’t be in March, financial media Finans reported.

A date would allow businesses in the industry to “apply for compensation so we have liquidity to get ready to open again,” Jacob Niebuhr of organisation Danmarks Restauranter & Caféer told Finans.

“When it’s possible to do this in England, where they’ve been harder hit, it should be possible to do it here,” Niebuhr also said in reference to a plan announced earlier this week by UK prime minister Boris Johnson, which charts a path out of lockdown for the UK with the target of an almost full reopening on June 21st.

READ ALSO: Denmark lifts UK entry ban but extends all other Covid-19 travel restrictions until April

Danish analysts find increased proportion of hospital admissions with B117 variant

The more infectious Covid-19 variant B117 – now the dominant form in Denmark – is 64 percent more likely to result in hospitalisation than infection with previous variants of the virus, according to analysis by Danish health authorities.

The variant now comprises around 60 percent of new infections with Covid-19 in Denmark, news wire Ritzau writes based on official data.

However, the vast majority of people who are infected with the variant only become mildly ill. Six percent of the 2,155 people infected with the variant in the Danish analysis were hospitalised.

There is also no evidence that the variant infects children more than other types, which is good news in light of schools reopening.

The national infectious disease agency, State Serum Institute, said in a statement that it does not know the reason behind the increased chance of hospitalisation with B117.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Energy prices heading skywards again, why undelivered letters jeopardised Britons' residency in Denmark, and increasing use of the 'morning-after pill' are among the top news stories in Denmark on Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Electricity prices in Denmark skyrocket (again) 

After a respite, the price of electricity jumps back to about 5 kroner per kilowatt-hour during periods of high demand starting Tuesday, broadcaster DR reports. 

The recent wintery weather has driven Danes to their radiator dials just as the wind has died down, leaving wind farms idle. “So we have to buy our energy in Germany at a much higher price, because gas prices” dictate the price of energy in Germany more, says Jack Michael Kristensen, functional manager at Andel Energy, a top Danish energy provider. 

The situation is exacerbated because Norwegian and Swedish hydropower facilities are currently underperforming, a Saxobank analyst tells DR. 

Experts say we should expect the high prices to continue through at least December and perhaps into January. 

READ MORE: ‘Semi off-grid’: Readers’ tips for coping with expensive energy bills in Denmark 

‘Scores’ of Britons in Denmark may not have received key Brexit letter 

Many British citizens who moved to Denmark in 2020 — the last year they were eligible for EU ‘free movement’ before Brexit — never received key documents from the Danish government instructing them to update their residency status. Now, they face deportation if they missed the December 31st, 2021 deadline. 

“It does seem unreasonable that a government agency is seemingly putting the responsibility on the resident to know of any changes that need to be made to government records, especially when SIRI [the Danish Agency for Recruitment and Integration, ed.] has not contacted those who they are now seemingly penalising for applying late,” one affected reader told The Local Denmark. 

READ MORE: Scores of Britons in Denmark may not have received Brexit residency letter

Use of ‘regret’ pills on the rise in Denmark

Emergency contraception pills, commonly called the ‘morning-after’ pill or Plan B, had a record-breaking year in Denmark in 2021 — and health advocates say it’s a sign Danes are being more, not less, responsible with contraception, according to broadcaster DR. 

About 136,000 doses of the morning-after pill (fortrydelsespiller in Danish, literally ‘regret’ or ‘withdrawal’ pill) were sold in 2021, up significantly from 107,000 in 2016. The jump was sharpest in Zealand, where sales leapt 44 percent. 

While the morning-after pill shouldn’t be used as a first-choice contraception method, Annemette Wildfang Lykkebo, chairman of the Danish Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, sees the increase as a positive. 

“It is not irresponsible. It is rather responsible, because you act conscientiously and avoid a pregnancy,” she told DR.