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

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 Thursday
People demonstrate against planned deportations of Syrian refugees at Copenhagen's City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen). Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines can now be chosen voluntarily

A new scheme comes into use today allowing people being vaccinated against Covid-19 to choose to have the vaccine from either AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson.

The vaccines from the two companies have both been withdrawn by Danish health authorities from the national vaccination programme. Only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are in general use in Denmark, which currently expects to complete vaccination of its population by the end of August.

But it will be possible to choose to have either the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which Denmark still has stocks of.

Keep an eye on our website for more detail on this today.


Immigration minister to visit site of new expulsion centre

Minister for immigration Mattias Tesfaye is scheduled today to visit the location on the southern island of Langeland where the government plans to open a new facility to house foreign nationals who have been convicted of crimes and are awaiting deportation from Denmark.

The new centre was announced by the government yesterday.

The local mayor, Tonni Hansen of the Socialist People’s Party, has already expressed strong opposition to the plan, broadcaster DR reported. Tesfaye will also meet with local residents, where he might also expect a frosty reception over the plan.

Upper secondary school students given permission for traditional bus parades

The customary studenterkørsel, a rowdy drive through town on modified open-backed trucks undertaken by newly-graduated upper secondary school students, will go ahead this year. That is after new guidelines for celebrating the completion of education programmes was finalised, DR writes.

The students can go ahead with the bus-based parties provided they celebrate only with their own classmates and no more than 500 people attend graduation.

Last year also saw the traditional truck tours given the green light at a time when coronavirus restriction levels were low.

READ ALSO: Why do new Danish school graduates ride around town on noisy trucks?

Thousands demonstrate against plan to send Syrian refugees back to Damascus

Crowds in Copenhagen and several other towns across Denmark gathered yesterday evening to express opposition to the government’s assessment that it is safe to send some Syrian refugees back to Damascus and subsequent withdrawal of asylum status from dozens of refugees.

Denmark has faced growing criticism for the decision, for which it cites a “safe” situation around Damascus, but the country is sticking to its position.


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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

The need for foreign workers, an encouraging Covid snapshot, and incorrigible football fans are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Labour crisis: ‘we will need many more foreigners’ 

Unmet demand for labour in both private businesses and the public sector has reached a crisis point, according to an appeal to the government to reach a broader labour agreement. 

The municipalities will need 44,000 additional employees by 2030, the National Association of Municipalities says. Meanwhile, Danish businesses could hire 38,000 new workers immediately, according to the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), which represents the interests of about 19,000 Danish companies. 

Lars Sandahl Sørensen, managing director of DI, firmly believes the answer to the labour shortage lies outside Danish borders. 

“We will need many more foreigners,” Sørensen told Finans. “It is not about getting cheap labour, but about getting people at all. We are in a situation where we do not have employees to carry out the things on green change that we have already decided and that we would like on health and welfare.” 

READ MORE: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you aren’t an EU national? 

Encouraging Covid snapshot

The latest report from the State’s Serum Institute, the Danish infectious disease agency, says declining viral loads in the wastewater system suggest there’s a lower burden of infection in the country. 

Confirmed cases were down 19 percent between the week of July 11th to the week of July 18th, but since the number of PCR tests administered also decreased 15 percent that’s to be taken with a grain of salt. 

In the same period, new Covid hospital admissions fell nearly a quarter, with a significant decline in the elderly population. 

Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is still responsible for the lion’s share of Covid cases in Denmark, accounting for 92 percent of positive results in the week of July 18th. 

READ MORE: Which Covid self-tests should you buy (and avoid) in Denmark? 

Football fans send two to emergency room 

The double penalty zone authorities established around Brøndby stadium wasn’t enough to prevent more trips to the hospital. 

According to a press release from the Western Copenhagen Police, a group of Brøndby fans “stampeded” one of the stadium entrances prior to the club’s UEFA Conference League qualification match against Swiss side Basel last night. Three stadium stewards were injured, two of whom went to the emergency room. 

It’s unclear whether anyone has been charged in connection with the incident, but police are seeking additional information from anyone who may have witnessed the stampede at 7:12pm. 

Dreary weather to end summer holidays 

This weekend, the last holiday hurrah before many children return to school on Monday, won’t feel much like summer, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute. 

“There will be little or no sun and a few showers” with temperatures between 17 and 22 degrees says DMI meteorologist Mette Wagner. 

It’s a dramatic shift from Thursday, when the 30 degree weather was swept away by a strong rainstorm that dampened an Ed Sheeran concert in Copenhagen.