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

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 Wednesday
People enjoying sunny weather in Copenhagen on Tuesday. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Covid-19 impact on Denmark’s economy less severe than feared 

The effects of the coronavirus crisis on the Danish economy have not been as severe as previous estimates have suggested, according to new figures from Statistics Denmark.

A revised calculation from the agency shows that the national GDP shrank by 2.7 percent last year, a smaller hit than the previous estimate of 3.3 percent.

Nevertheless, 2020 remains the worst year for the economy since the global financial crisis.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s state wealth expands despite pandemic

Coronavirus variant found in Copenhagen neighbourhood

Residents in the Ydre (Outer) Østerbro neighbourhood in Copenhagen have been asked to seek coronavirus tests after a number of cases of the P1 variant were found.

The variant, first identified in Brazil, is suspected to have higher resistance to vaccines than other forms.

Residents in the relevant area will receive SMS messages asking them to take a test, news wire Ritzau reports.

Earlier this week, people in parts of Funen were strongly encouraged to isolate and take tests after suspected variants were detected there.

Extended Christiania ban in place over Easter

The ban on being in Christiania for anything other than walking or running is to stay in place until after Easter, Copenhagen Police have confirmed.

First introduced in January, the ban is regularly extended with police justifying this by stating that potential crowding in the area could increase the risk of Covid-19 infection.

The ban, a so-called opholdsforbud, allows the public only to pass through, but not stop in the area. The affected areas, Pusher Street and the Green Light District, are prominent features within Christiania. In more normal times, the area is known for features including the market stands on Pusher Street, from where cannabis is sometimes illicitly traded and periodically clamped down on by police.

Asked by broadcaster DR whether the ban, the only one of its type in the country, is partly motivated by Christiania’s connection to cannabis dealing, senior Copenhagen Police officer Tommy Laursen dismissed the connection.

“No. We are currently using considerably more staff in the area than we did before the ban was introduced,” Laursen said.

Under the ban, lingering in the affected areas is banned between 10am and midnight. Failure to comply can result in a fine of 2,500 kroner.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Lower fees for using Visa-Dankort abroad, more parents choosing private midwives, and record inflation are among the top news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

In case you missed it: here’s who is eligible for monkeypox vaccines 

Denmark will now offer monkeypox vaccinations to all men who have sex with men and have multiple sexual partners. Previously, the shots were only given to people who had been in close contact with a confirmed case.

It’s important to emphasize that anyone can get monkeypox from close contact, not just men who have sex with men.

READ MORE: Monkeypox: Denmark to offer vaccination to at-risk group

Denmark sees highest inflation since 1983 

Consumer prices have climbed 8.7 percent since July 2021, according to figures from the government agency Statistics Denmark. It’s the highest rate of inflation the country has experienced since 1983.

Skyrocketing prices for food, electricity, and fuel are driving the change to price indices, newswire Ritzau reports. 

READ MORE: Will house prices in Denmark ever fall? 

Danske Bank lowers fees for purchases abroad 

An order goes into effect Wednesday requiring Danske Bank to charge customers less when paying in foreign currencies. 

Earlier this year, the Competition Council determined both Danske Bank and Nordea added unreasonable surcharges to purchases abroad — 1.5 percent within the EU and 2 percent for the rest of the world. 

As per the Competition Council’s findings, Danske Bank must drop the currency exchange surcharge altogether within the EU and reduce the rate to 1.5 percent outside the bloc. 

Danske Bank has already appealed the decision and will argue their case before a judge at the Copenhagen District Court.

READ MORE: Danish banks raise interest rates but many remain negative 

Business booms for private midwives 

Demand for private midwives has increased steadily over the past five years as cuts to the public system have left midwives there overburdened, broadcaster DR reports

The number of parents-to-be applying for subsidies for private midwives jumped 17 percent from 2020 to 2021 alone, data from health insurance agency Sygeforsikring Danmark show. 

Parents cite a desire for more personalised attention, DR finds. In particular, new parents are eager for more frequent pre-natal scans and more help breastfeeding after baby is born. 

READ MORE: Denmark presents plan to hire 100 more staff at maternity wards 

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