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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
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken disembarks from his airplane upon arrival at Copenhagen Airport late on Sunday. Photo: Pool/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

US Secretary of State in Denmark

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will meet foreign minister Jeppe Kofod in Copenhagen today.

Blinken’s stop in the Danish capital comes ahead of a trip to Greenland which shows that the US’s strategic focus on the Arctic has outlived the Trump presidency. 

In Copenhagen, Blinken will meet Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and other Danish leaders as well as business people on issues including “combating the climate crisis,” including the development of new technologies, State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

The top US diplomat will meet Greenland’s full leadership on the stop Thursday in Kangerlussuaq, the sparsely populated island’s main transport hub.

More on this story here.

More negotiations over corona passport

Denmark’s roadmap for gradually lifting coronavirus restrictions includes provisions for parliamentary parties to meet regularly in order to discuss potential changes to the plan on an ongoing basis as the situation with the virus and vaccination programme progresses.

This week will see a new round of negotiations. Broadcaster DR reports that the corona passport, is likely to be high on the agenda for discussions. The passport, which is used to document a recent negative test or immunity from vaccination or recovery from Covid-19, is currently mandated for access to a number of services including hairdressers, cafes and restaurants.

Currently, the passports must be produced by everyone who wishes to use any of the relevant services, but several parties have asked for a spot-check system to replace the mandatory checks.


Foreign-based Danes can return home for Covid-19 vaccination 

Danish citizens who live in other countries can now return home to receive a Covid-19 vaccination if they are registered on the national healthcare system, the Danish Health Authority has confirmed.

As such, not all Danes who live abroad will qualify for vaccination in Denmark – many do not retain the yellow health insurance card when they register as having moved abroad. But there are a number of situations – for example, people who live in the EU or who live abroad and work in Denmark – in which access to the health system in Denmark is retained and a special health insurance card (sygesikringskort) is issued.

Additionally, people who are staying in Denmark temporarily for 30 days or more can be offered a Covid-19 inoculation under the Danish health system, provided the reason for their stay is not to access vaccination.

We’ll have more detail on this in an article today.

Pride event cancels Copenhagen parade due to Covid-19 restrictions

International pride event WorldPride, scheduled to be hosted in Copenhagen this year, has cancelled a parade planned for August 21st due to ongoing restrictions on public assembly.

Copenhagen’s hosting of the event has been several years in the making.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen awarded WorldPride 2021 event

A number of smaller-scale events will take place, enabling the festival to comply with coronavirus rules.

“We’d hoped for 35,000 people at Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square), but that’s no longer an option. So the party won’t be quite as big, but the message will be the same,” Benjamin Hansen, vice-chairperson and director of Copenhagen 2021, which includes WorldPride 2021, told news wire Ritzau.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Legal gender reassignment for Danish children, a possible cap on visas for Russian tourists, and 'accidental' 6,000 kroner cheques are among the top news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Russian tourists have flocked to Denmark. Ukraine wants us to cut them off. 

In the first months of 2022, Denmark issued three times as many tourist visas to Russians than in the previous year, newspaper Politiken reported Monday. But now, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is asking western leaders to close the door on Russian tourists, according to newswire Ritzau. 

Vladimir Barbin, Russian ambassador to Denmark, sees potential travel restrictions as an attack on human rights. “In short, human rights in the West are apparently only remembered when it is beneficial, and they are forgotten without remorse when it comes to Russians,” Barbin wrote to Ritzau. In the same statement, he described Russia’s invasion as a “special military operation.” 

Denmark’s minister of immigration plans to wait for a broader EU solution. “It is clear that if there is just one country in Europe where Russians can enter, then in principle you can enter the entire Schengen area,” Kaare Dybvad told Politiken.  “Therefore, it is the EU framework in which it must be done.” 

READ MORE: Who visits Denmark in the summer and where do tourists go? 

Government proposes removing age limit for legal gender change 

The government’s LGBTQ+ plan, presented Monday, includes a proposal to expand access to legal gender change to all children regardless of age. 

Currently, only after the age of 18 can people apply to legally change their gender marker on government documents. 

The new plan would strike that age cap, but children 15 years of age or younger would need the consent of their parents or guardians. It’s the second time the Social Democrats have proposed the change — it failed to garner enough support among other government parties two years ago. 

The Danish Parliament consulted with the Ethics Council on the issue of appropriate ages for legal gender change, which proposed lowering the age limit to 10-12 years old. 

Bank error in your favor! Some received heating subsidy in error 

When the 6,000 kroner cheques went out to households heated by gas boilers, some households with different heating systems received a happy surprise. 

The government used a municipal system called the Building and Housing Register (abbreviated BBR in Danish) to determine who should receive the cheques — if you make any changes to your home, including replacing a boiler or building a tool shed, you’re supposed to inform the municipality. The problem is that many people aren’t aware of this or believe it’s included in the permitting information contractors file with authorities. 

A provision in the legislation authorising the ‘heat cheques’ says that if a cheque is sent due to government error, the recipient isn’t required to return the money. (In fact, you can’t even if you want to — authorities are asking accidental recipients not to contact them.) 

READ MORE: Denmark boosts heating bill help and will give it to more households