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

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 Tuesday
Queen Margrethe and Crown Prince Frederik at the Danish parliament last year. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Petition for wage equality reaches threshold for parliamentary discussion

 A citizens’ petition (borgerforslag) calling for equal pay for public servants in different sectors has reached the necessary 50,000 signatures to qualify for parliamentary discussion.

The petition asks lawmakers to revoke a 1969 law, tjenestemandsreformen, which placed public servants on different pay grades, with sectors traditionally seen as dominated by women, such as nursing and childcare, given lower pay than jobs such as teacher or police officer.

Government to attend first ever digital audience with Queen

The traditional audience between the Danish government and the monarch will be held online today in a historic first, the Palace has confirmed via its website.

Queen Margrethe, who has said in the past that she doesn’t own a mobile phone, will therefore, along with Crown Prince Frederik, meet with ministers via a computer screen.

It is likely to be a longer audience than usual, since previous meetings have been cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to broadcaster DR.

Covid-19 outbreak in Esbjerg closes school

The Danish Patient Safety Authority has confirmed the closure of a school, Præstegårdsskolen Urban, in southwestern city Esbjerg after an outbreak of Covid-19 cases was detected.

Contact tracing will be conducted by municipal health services and pupils, staff and parents have been asked to take a Covid-19 test, the authority states in a tweet.

Tax return information available as queues shorten

Waiting time to log on to the Danish tax agency website have shortened after heavy traffic over the weekend, following the release of annual tax return information, known in Danish as årsopgørelsen.

If you pay tax in Denmark, you can log in to the system to see whether you are due money back or see whether any corrections need to be applied to your return.

You can find more detail in our article.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A Dane going to space, beefing up the Danish navy, and increasing Covid cases are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Covid cases increase as holidays end

The number of positive PCR tests in Denmark is again on the rise with people returning to work and school after summer holidays, according to the latest data from the State’s Serum Institute, Denmark’s infectious disease agency.  

From the last week of July to the first week of August, cases rose 18 percent, while the positive percentage grew to 27 percent. 

“Activity in our society is increasing, and people may also be more aware of getting tested for symptoms in connection with starting work and education,” says Tyra Grove Krause, professional director of the SSI. 

Central and North Jutland have seen the highest overall infection rates, while nationwide 40-59 year olds are seeing the most positive tests. 

Data on incidence rates are more likely to be an underestimate given Denmark’s dramatically reduced public testing program, which saw all quick test sites and all but a handful of PCR test sites shuttered in the spring. On August 15, authorities further restricted guidelines for who should be tested if they experience Covid symptoms — now, the official guidance is that testing is only recommended for people who are 65 years old or over, pregnant, or have a condition that causes a higher risk of sever outcomes for Covid-19. 

Danish astronaut announces mission to space 

Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen will spend six months at the International Space Station as part of Mission Huginn — named after one of two ravens from Norse mythology that flew around the world to gather news for the god Odin.

Instead of news of the world, Mogensen will be gathering information about “sleep and well-being in space” as well as attempt to 3D print metal components, all essential for potential longer-term space travel to destinations like Mars. 

Denmark to strengthen naval fleet with eye to Russia 

Defense minister Morten Bodskov announced a significant investment in the Danish navy on Thursday.

Over the next 20 years, 40 billion kroner will be spent to upgrade the Danish fleet. “We are facing a serious situation in Europe. There is war in Europe. We have just been through a corona pandemic, and common to both is that it has created problems for our security of supply,” Bodskov told reporters, according to newswire the Agence France-Presse. 

“It is not viable, especially in times of war in Europe, for the Danish defence to have problems getting ships and other equipment built,” he added. “That is why we are taking action now” with industry partners to build our own warships. 

READ MORE: From June: Russian warship violates Danish waters

Danish politicians may visit Taiwan 

Members of Danish parliament from six political parties are ready to travel to Taiwan after a possible election this autumn, newspaper Politiken reports. 

“Taiwan must not be isolated in the way that China wants it to be. They must not succeed in that,” Michael Aastrup Jensen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Liberal party (Venstre) told Politiken. 

The six parties that have signed on to a possible trip are the Conservatives, the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Social Liberals (Radikale), the Danish People’s Party, the Liberal party, and the new Danish Democrats party. 

However, some, including Socialist People’s Party foreign affairs spokesman Karsten Hønge, say stirring the pot in Taiwan could cause more harm than good. 

READ MORE: From 2019: Copenhagen Zoo removes Taiwan from display map to get loan pandas from China