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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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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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