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

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Friday
In the first three months of the year, more houses were sold than in any three month period since 2004. Photo: David Leth Williams/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s government pledges greater regulation of tech giants 

Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, and the leaders of the three government support parties, have said they support greater political regulation of tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter.

The companies’ business models need to be more transparent, their algorithms more open, and they need to pay more tax, the three said, but they have not come so far as to agree on any concrete measures. 

“There need to be rules of the game for all parts of society. We have that in traffic, we have that when you publish a newspaper. The same logic must apply to social media,” Frederiksen told Denmark’s Politiken newspaper. “I think we will legislate.” 

Liberal Party: Cross-party agreement reached on lifting travel restrictions over summer

The Liberal and Conservative Parties both announced on Thursday night that they had reached a political agreement with the government over relaxing travel restrictions over the summer. By Friday morning, however, the government had not yet published anything on the agreement. 

“Now Danes can travel more easily and to more countries! Glad we have reached a broad agreement on travel restrictions,” the Liberal’s foreign policy chair Michael Aastrup Jensen wrote on Twitter.

“An agreement that means that we relax several requirements and restrictions. Something the Liberal Party has fought hard for through several negotiations.” 

Denmark to publish new vaccination calendar after CureVac disappointment 

The director of the Danish Health Authority has said that Danish authorities no longer expect the CureVac vaccine become part of the country’s vaccination program. 

“We must expect that we will not get CureVac in play in relation to completing the vaccination of target group 10,” Søren Brostrøm said on Thursday, after the company published trial results that indicated it was just 47 percent effective. 

“I expect that we can also come up with an updated vaccination calendar, at the same time as we get our reassessment around AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, in relation to whether they should be in play or not,” he added. “We also getting some people vaccinated under the optional scheme. We have to take that into account.” 

Camilla Foged, professor of vaccine design at the University of Copenhagen, told Ritzau that the CureVac result was “very disappointing and annoying”, as it would need to have efficacy of close to 80 percent to be useful in the Danish program. 

Highest number of houses sold in Denmark in a decade 

In the first three months of the year, more detached and terraced houses were sold in Denmark in over a decade, according to new figures from Finance Denmark, a trade body for Danish banks and mortgage providers. 

In total, 13,632 detached and terraced houses were sold between the start of January and the end of March, the busiest three-month period since 2004. 

“The Danes have just set a new record with the number of houses bought in a quarter,” said Ane Arnth Jensen, the organisation’s deputy chief executive, in a press release

At the same time, house prices were up 11.6 percent on the same period in 2020. 

Danish health agency calls for 12 to 15-year-olds to be vaccinated

The Danish Health Authority has recommended that children between the ages of 12 and 15 should also be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus to ensure herd immunity in the country.

At a press conference on Thursday morning, the authority argued that the roughly 70 percent immunity level that is likely to be achieved by vaccinating those aged 16 and above would not be enough to keep the epidemic under control without restrictions.

“When we’ve completed vaccinating those of 16 years old and above, we might have a community immunity of between 60 and 65 percent,” the authority’s director Søren Brostrøm explained at a press conference on Thursday.

“If you add in those under the age of 16 who have already had the disease, then maybe it is 70 percent community immunity,” he continued.

“Then the question is whether that is sufficient to maintain epidemic control. The answer is that it probably is not enough. That is the background for our recommendation.” Read our story here

Denmark to allow festivals of up to 5,000 people from start of July

Denmark’s government is to more than double to number of people allowed to take part in outdoor standing events, allowing music festivals of up to 5,000 people to take place.

The rules for standing events will be relaxed from July 1st, after the government yielded to appeals from the live music trade body Dansk Live, the Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Danish Industry.

“It’s wonderful that it will now be possible to have more participants at the summer’s festivals, concerts, and other outdoor arrangements,” the country’s culture minister, Joy Mogensen, said in a press release. Read our story here

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A Danish school evacuated due to a sickening smell, Nigeria prosecuting Danish soldiers in piracy case, and a ringing endorsement for fourth Covid-19 jabs are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

‘Unpleasant smell’ that sickened children at Danish school is unexplained 

 An Aarhus-area school was evacuated on Thursday after a mysterious smell appeared to be related to new headaches, coughs, and runny noses in students and teachers, newswire Ritzau reports. 

Suspecting some kind of chemical spill, school management reached out to emergency services — but police, the fire brigade and emergency medical responders were unable to identify the cause, according to a tweet by the East Jutland Police. 

However, authorities were able to rule out a chemical spill, police tell broadcaster TV2, and the investigation is ongoing. 

ICYMI: Recent Covid-19 booster jab offers good protection, Danish agency says 

People who received the most recent round of Covid-19 boosters are at significantly lower risk for hospitalisation, according to a recent analysis by the State Serum Institute, Denmark’s infectious disease agency. 

Having a second booster (for most, that would be your fourth dose) provides “around 75 percent better” protection against hospital admission than just three doses, writes Bolette Søborg, senior medical consultant at the SSI, on the agency’s website. 

READ ALSO: Can you get a second Covid-19 booster in Denmark if you are not in a risk group? 

Nigeria to prosecute Danish soldiers involved in piracy case 

This week, Copenhagen District Court began to hear the case against a Nigerian man authorities say is a pirate who participated in an attack on a Danish vessel off the coast of Nigeria in November 2021. 

But now, Nigeria has announced its intention to prosecute the Danish soldiers involved in the same incident, in which four Nigerian nationals were killed. 

“We demand that Denmark release the remaining Nigerian in Danish custody. We demand an apology from Denmark to Nigeria for the behavior of the frigate,” says Nicholas Ella, director of the legal department in Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign affairs, according to newspaper Weekendavisen.  

Ella describes the firefight as the “direct murder of people on the boat,” Weekendavisen reports.