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Eight arrested at anti-lockdown protest in Danish capital

Danish police said they arrested eight people in an anti-lockdown demonstration in Copenhagen late on Saturday.

Eight arrested at anti-lockdown protest in Danish capital
The group Men In Black demonstrates in Copenhagen, Saturday 27 February 2021. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

Organised by a group calling itself “Men in Black”, the rally of around 1,200 people in the Danish capital was the first since the government announced last week that it was extending many anti-coronavirus restrictions.

Police said the rally remained largely peaceful, but eight people were arrested for allegedly using fireworks and for rowdy behaviour.

Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Initially, around 600 people took part in the demonstration, but the crowd had swelled to around 1,200 by the end of the evening on the square in front of Copenhagen’s town hall, police said.

Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

“Men in Black” has previously arranged demonstrations in Aalborg and Copenhagen. 

In January one of the protests in Copenhagen included the burning of an effigy of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, leading to the arrest of two men.

Denmark, which has been under a partial lockdown since late December, announced last Wednesday that it would ease some coronavirus restrictions but keep the majority in place despite protests from the opposition.

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

While Danes will once again be able to visit some shops and partake in small-scale sports and communal activities from Monday, many restrictions have been extended until 5th April, including the closure of bars, restaurants, and most secondary and higher education institutions.

The number of Covid-19 infections in Denmark has fallen sharply over the past few weeks, but the rate of incidence of the so-called UK variant of the coronavirus, which is more easily transmissible, remains a source of concern, authorities said.

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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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