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

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 Friday
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen after meeting to discuss the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

New easing of Covid-19 restrictions from Monday 

The government last night announced that it will introduce a new slight easing of coronavirus restrictions, effective Monday.

The limit on public assembly will be increased from 5 to 10 people nationally, and to 50 for organised outdoor sports and leisure activities, as well as for outdoor religious services.

Final year students at youth and adult education institutions in Greater Copenhagen will be allowed to attend classes in person on the same model as the rest of the country. The capital region had previously been under tighter rules. Municipalities with higher infection rates will be excluded from this, however.

We’ll have full details of the announcement and the changes to the restrictions in an article on our homepage later this morning.

Opposition criticises easing of restrictions

The decision to ease coronavirus restrictions does not go far enough, according to Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, leader of the opposition Liberal party.

“I had hoped that more (pupils) would be able to go back to school. I’d hoped for more businesses to be able to open and I hoped that shopping malls would be able to open,” Ellemann-Jensen told broadcaster DR.

Kristian Thulesen Dahl of the Danish People’s Party called the concessions agreed on Thursday “sprinkles”.

“We are fighting for it to be possible to offer outdoors serving (at restaurants and bars) as a minimum,” Dahl said.

Health authorities to brief on AstraZeneca vaccine 

The Danish Health Authority and Danish Medicines Agency are scheduled this afternoon to answer press questions related to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the use of which is currently suspended by Denmark due to concerns about possible serious side effects.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded on Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine was a “safe and effective” tool in the battle against Covid-19 but its investigation could not rule out whether the jab had caused rare cases of blood clotting.

Emergency parliamentary committee meeting about Danish children in Syrian camps

Parliament’s foreign policy committee is to meet today to discuss a matter which – if you’ll forgive me for slipping into opinion mode – I feel heaps shame on the government.

Mette Frederiksen’s government has steadfastly refused to repatriate children held at prison camps for former Isis fighters and supporters in Syria. A total of 19 children, who are either children of or “connected to” Danish citizens or former Danish citizens are known to be accommodated at the camps, the foreign ministry has stated.

Denmark has been strongly criticised by the UN for failing to protect the children, a position taken by the government apparently against the advice of its own security services. A panel of experts have previously recommended a four-year-old girl be removed from one of the camps in order to receive treatment for PTSD. 

A number of parties have asked to be given access to reports provided to the government by the intelligence service, FE, last year, and want to know why the government kept its details under wraps, according to DR. The justice minister, Nick Hækkerup, and foreign minister Jeppe Kofod will be among those facing questions.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Police give more details on the Copenhagen shooting, SAS negotiations could end today and cooler summer weather are among the main stories in Denmark this Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Copenhagen shooting suspect known to mental health services 

Police in Denmark have confirmed the gunman who killed three people and wounded several others in a shooting at the Field’s mall in Copenhagen on Sunday, was known to mental health services. Police said they believe he acted alone and there was no sign of terrorism.

The three killed have been identified as a Danish woman and man, both aged 17, and a 47-year-old Russian citizen residing in Denmark.

Another four were injured in the shooting: two Danish women, aged 19 and 40, and two Swedish citizens, a 50-year-old man and a 16-year-old woman.

Field’s shopping mall won’t open until at least next Monday, according to its website. Most roads have now opened, apart from the area right around Field’s and the shopping mall car park.

Trains and the metro are also running as usual to and from Ørestad Station, which is located at Field’s.

READ MORE:

LATEST: Suspect in Copenhagen shooting had history of mental health issues✎

UPDATED: What we know so far about the Copenhagen mall shooting

SAS negotiations deadline today

SAS hope to find a solution in their negotiations with the airline’s pilots about their salary and working conditions by midday today. Talks resumed on Sunday morning before the extended deadline of midday on Monday. If an agreement can’t be reached, it could mean that up to a thousand pilots will go on strike.

The pilots are employed by SAS’s parent company, SAS Scandinavia, and have announced strike action because they are not satisfied with their salary and working conditions at SAS.

In addition, the pilots are dissatisfied with the fact that instead of re-employing old SAS pilots, priority is given to hiring new pilots on cheaper agreements in the two subsidiaries SAS Link and SAS Connect.

On Saturday morning, when the parties stated that they would continue the negotiations up until and including Monday at 12 noon, there was hope of being able to land an agreement.

People in Denmark can save millions of litres of petrol with more bike rides

People living in Denmark are known for their love of cycling but it is hoped the Tour de France will encourage even more people to choose their bike over their car.

Calculations from DI Transport show that if people in Denmark started cycling 10 percent more instead of using the car, then 7.7 million litres of petrol and 4.8 million litres of diesel could be saved each year.

“If you replace the car with the bike, it is just a win-win on all fronts. You save petrol costs and get more exercise, and at the same time you help the climate and reduce congestion on the roads”, Karsten Lauritzen, industry director at DI Transport said.

Cool summer weather coming Denmark’s way

Although Monday starts with sunshine, it will quickly turn to cloud with some rain, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

Monday’s temperatures will vary between 17 and 20 degrees. It’s a similar picture for the rest of the week, with DMI forecasting cooler temperatures and showers. Thursday is predicted to be the warmest day of the week, where temperatures may reach over 20 degrees but with some rain.

“It is not exactly the best beach weather if you are on a west-facing coast”, according to Bolette Brødsgaard from DMI, due to the strong westerly winds from Wednesday onwards. However she adds that “every day it will be possible to get something good out of the weather – it is after all summer. It’s just a matter of finding a shelter or keeping an eye on the radar when it rains.”

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