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

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 Monday
Danish royal residence Amalienborg with its flag flying at half mast on Saturday April 17th. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Businesses, conservative parties call for government to scrap 30-minute booking rule for reopened restaurants 

Coronavirus restrictions are set to be eased again on Wednesday, with bars, restaurants and cafes allowed to serve guests both inside and outside, in the latter case without a corona passport requirement. You can read more about the incoming changes here.

In a change made to the new rules after they were agreed with the other parties, the government has said that table reservations, which will be required for inside service at restaurants, must be made at least 30 minutes before the time of serving. The rule is ostensibly to prevent ‘walk-ins’ and enforce the need for reservations.

The interest organisation for small businesses, SMVdanmark, has hit out at the rule. The group’s CEO Jakob Brandt called it a “bureaucratic trip-up” on social media.

The Conservative and Liberal parties have also criticised the rule, questioning its practical use as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Scam phone calls reported in southeast Jutland

Police in southeast Jutland have issued advice to residents in the area after a spate of phone calls from scammers pretending to be officers investigating digital ID fraud.

The telephone number used in the scam resembles an older police number, ending with the digits 1448.

If you are called by the number, you should under no circumstances give any details of your personal registration (CPR) number or secure login (NemID).

“Citizens who are being called by number 76241448 and asked for CPR number and NemID because of alleged hacking are instructed not to comply. The person calling will pretend to be from the police. That is not the case,” the police tweeted.

AstraZeneca second doses to be replaced with different vaccine

Health authorities last week announced the withdrawal of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Denmark’s Covid-19 vaccination programme. That left around 150,000 people who have received AstraZeneca as their first vaccine dose, including a large proportion of healthcare sector workers in doubt as to when and how they will receive their second dose.

The Danish Health Authority has since confirmed via a statement that people who have received a first dose with AstraZeneca will be offered a second dose from another company. The two vaccines in use in Denmark at the current time are those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The second vaccine will be offered around 12 weeks after the date of the first one.

READ ALSO: Denmark to consider individual choice over AstraZeneca vaccine

Warm and sunny start to the week

Today will be a dry day with plenty of sunshine and temperatures reaching a positively balmy 18 degrees Celsius.

That could make it the warmest day of the year so far, according to national meteorological agency DMI.

The good weather is forecast to last until Wednesday when Arctic air is predicted to move across the country from the northwest, bringing with it single-digit temperatures and possibly the return of sleet and hail.

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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