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Hundreds gather in Copenhagen to protest Denmark’s Covid-19 laws

Crowds assembled in central Copenhagen on Saturday to protest against a controversial virus law and Denmark's plan to create so-called "corona passports".

Hundreds gather in Copenhagen to protest Denmark's Covid-19 laws
Demonstrators protest against Covid-related laws and the 'Corona passport'. Photo: Ritzau

Marching through the streets, the group of mostly younger people lit fireworks during a march which an AFP correspondent at the scene described as “mostly peaceful”.

Police told the Ekstrabladet newspaper that some 600 people had gathered and one person was arrested for throwing firecrackers towards police officers.

Organised by Danish anti-restriction group “Men in Black,” the main issue for the protesters was a new provision to the penal code that calls for a doubled sentence for a crime that “has a background in or is connected to the Covid-19 epidemic”.

The first severe application of that law happened in mid-March, when a Danish court convicted a 30-year-old woman for statements and actions that contributed to a “gross disturbance of public order as well as the use of violence against police,” at a January protest – organised by the same group.

Men In Black demonstrators in central Copenhagen on Saturday shouted “Freedom for Denmark”. (foto: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix 2021).

Her one-year prison sentence was converted to two years. The Saturday march stopped outside the prison where she is being held, with cries of “Free Nanna” outside the building which was heavily guarded by police vans.

The demonstrators, most dressed all in black, shouted “Freedom for Denmark” and “Mette Ciao” – a reference to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen – as they made their way to a square in front of Copenhagen’s city hall.

In addition to the doubling of sentences the protesters also object to the creation of “corona passports”, a smartphone app which will be used to certify that someone has received a Covid-19 vaccine, tested negative within the last 72 hours or has recently recovered from Covid-19, conferring immunity to the disease.

READ ALSO: Denmark to further ramp up Covid-19 testing capacity amid reopening plan

Denmark’s government has said the “corona passports” are a crucial part of the country’s plan to reopen, but critics argue they will create a division in society.

The Scandinavian country has been under a partial lockdown since late December. Primary schools reopened in February and secondary school students are due to return to classrooms in early April.

Most shops were allowed to reopen earlier this month. However some businesses, including hairdressers, bars and restaurants, remain closed.

READ ALSO: Denmark extends current restrictions and travel bans until April 20th

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Three great Copenhagen open air swimming spots

On a warm day — or for the Danes, even on a cold day — a dip in Copenhagen's harbors and beaches can do just the trick. Here are three of our favourite spots for an open air swim in Denmark's capital city and advice on where not to swim.

Three great Copenhagen open air swimming spots

Amager Strandpark — a beach’s beach 

If you’re looking for white sand beaches and room to spread out a towel (as long as you get there early enough), Amager Strandpark is your best bet. It’s about 25 minutes by bike or via metro line 2 from downtown Copenhagen. 

Children play on popular Copenhagen beach Amager Strandpark. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Amager Strandpark offers 4.6 km of beachfront real estate with areas for picnicking, ball games, and, of course, swimming. 

It’s also prime territory for watersports (kayaking, anyone?) and the Copenhagen Surf School offers windsurfing lessons for beginners. 

The Islands Brygge harbour bath offers fantastic views of the city. Photo: Kasper Palsnov/Ritzau Scanpix

Islands Brygge Havnebad — an urban swimming experience 

A stone’s throw from the city center, Islands Brygge is perhaps Copenhagen’s most iconic urban swimming spot. 

The Harbour bath boasts three diving platforms as well as five semi-inclosed pools, two designated for children. 

Svanemølle Beach is a hop, skip and a jump from the fashionable Østerbro neighborhood. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Svanemølle Strand 

Literally “swan mill beach” in Danish, this small beach in Østerbro is a favorite haunt for families with young children since the tide comes in very slowly. For the grown-ups, a massive 130-meter pier offers access to deep water. 

Places NOT to swim 

It’s not permitted to swim in the canals at Nyhavn or in Copenhagen’s famous lakes (though with the summer algae bloom, you probably wouldn’t want to anyway). As a rule of thumb, anywhere without a lifeguard in high season or without ladders in and out of the water should be avoided. 

The map below shows the three recommended swimming spots. Zoom in to see where they are in Copenhagen.

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