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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
Kronborg Castle is now open to visitors. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Ritzau Scanpix

Coronavirus restrictions eased as new phase begins

Today sees a broad range of coronavirus restrictions eased, allowing restaurants and cafes to serve again, museums to open, department stores and large malls to allow customers in and more pupils to go back to school.

Requirements for the use of a corona passport to access services in a range of instances also come into effect.

Travel restrictions and guidelines also change today, representing a slight easing of rules, although travel remains tightly controlled.

You can get abreast of all of today’s rule changes in the below series of articles.

Scandal-hit Danske Bank hit with lawsuit

The United States and a US pension fund have filed a claim in a Danish court seeking more than $1.6 million for lost investments following a money laundering scandal that engulfed Danske Bank, their lawyer has confirmed.

The was filed in September against Danske Bank and its former CEO Thomas Borgen.

More on that story here and click here for our archive of reports on the Danske Bank money laundering scandal.

Denmark ‘lends’ Germany 55,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses

Denmark is to give 55,000 doses of its AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein after dropping the jab from its vaccination programme amid concerns about side effects.

Health minister Magnus Heunicke earlier said a “dialogue” was taking place with a view to Denmark swapping its shelved AstraZeneca vaccines.

Here’s that story in full.

Health authority to decide on Johnson & Johnson vaccine by next week

A decision by the Danish Health Authority on whether it will also withdraw the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the national Covid-19 programme, as it did with AstraZeneca, will be made by next week. That was confirmed by the authority in a statement early on Wednesday.

That comes after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Tuesday said it had concluded, based on initial investigations, a possible link between the J&J vaccine and rare cases of blood clots combined with low platelet levels.

The regulator recommended adding a warning to the vaccine’s product label and said the benefits of the one-dose shot outweigh its risks.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

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 

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