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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

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 roundup of the latest news on Thursday
The royal ship 'Dannebrog' at the harbour at Fredrikshavn on Wednesday. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Police report calm response to extended bar opening hours

Last night saw an easing of coronavirus restrictions come into effect, permitting bars and cafes to stay open until 2am. Closing time under the outgoing restrictions was midnight.

Police districts across the country said they have not noticed any initial change in the behaviour of drinking establishment patrons, according to broadcaster DR.

But Funen Police said they have been in contact with a number of bars who have decided to wait before making use of the new provision because they were unclear about whether the rules actually took effect from last night (Wednesday going into Thursday) or tonight.

Euros matches in Copenhagen did not cause Covid-19 spike, health authority says

Covid-19 infection data following Euro 2020 matches in Copenhagen show that large events can be hosted in a corona-safe manner, experts have said to DR following the publication of data related to the matches hosted at Parken stadium.

According to the Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed), 152 people were infected with coronavirus through attending the matches. As such, they are not classed as ‘super spreader’ events.

“This has shown that these matched were manageable. It’s shown that it was not irresponsible to host the matches at Parken,” Aarhus University virologist Søren Riis Paludan told DR.

All of Denmark’s three group stage matches took place in Copenhagen, as did the last-16 clash between Croatia and Spain.

Two arrested for throwing wood from bridge

Central and West Zealand police have arrested two young men who are suspected of throwing wood from a footbridge near the town of Ringsted, news wire Ritzau reports.

The men are suspected of throwing a piece of wood on to one of the town’s ring roads, causing a truck driver to brake sharply.

Such dangerous antisocial behaviour near busy roads has been reported relatively often in various parts of Denmark in recent years and has previously had fatal consequences.

READ ALSO: Danish police look for clues after latest motorway bridge attack

Queen Margrethe visits the Faroe Islands

The Queen is on an official visit to the Faroe Islands from today until Monday.

According to Her Majesty’s official schedule, the Danish monarch will be officially welcomed at Tórshavn today before visiting the Faroese parliament, Lagtinget. The Faroe Islands is a self-governed autonomous territory within the Danish kingdom.

READ ALSO: Goodbye Denmark? Faroese weigh pulling free of Danish grip

Queen Margrethe is also due to stop by a number of other towns and bygder (villages) on the Faroe Islands where she will be presented with elements of the local culture, environment and gastronomy.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Gale force winds and hail, 'automatic' organ donation, and whether to inform landowners of possible PFAS contamination are among the top news stories in Denmark on Monday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Gale force winds, hail in forecasts 

Denmark can look forward to blustery weather this week, according to the latest forecasts by the Danish Meteorological Institute. “A grey and wet January is drawing to a close and it looks like the month is slamming the door with a bang,” DMI meteorologist Anesten Devasakayam writes. 

On Monday, January 30th, areas across the country will experience strong winds, Devaskayam says, as well as occasional hail. The wind is expected to keep pace as the week progresses, with brief reprieves on Tuesday and Thursday. 

READ MORE: Essential rain gear for a wet Danish winter (and spring, summer, autumn) 

Government reluctant to inform landowners of possible PFAS contamination 

Opposition parties say it’s unacceptable for the Danish Regions and national government to drag their feet on informing people their land could be contaminated with PFAS, ‘forever chemicals’ linked to health problems including cancer. 

The Regions, which are responsible for environmental cleanups in Denmark, have identified 16,000 plots they suspect are contaminated with PFAS due to industry activity. However, they have yet to inform the people who live there. That’s because the Regions plan to test each plot individually before reaching out — a process that could take decades without a dramatic increase in funding, according to broadcaster DR. 

Food grown in contaminated soil accumulates PFAS, and the Regions have identified many gardens and allotments that might be affected.

“When the Regions have this knowledge, I also think we need to inform the population whether it is their garden or farmland or a kindergarten that is located where there may actually be severe contamination,” Mai Villadsen of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) told DR. 

READ MORE: PFAS found in organic eggs in Denmark 

Minister of Health: everyone in Denmark should automatically be organ donors 

Currently, Danes have to ‘opt in’ for organ donation —and fewer than one in three do, according to the National Board of Health. 

Health Minister Sophie Løhde contends that Denmark should join many other EU countries that have in recent years switched from opting in to organ donation to opting out. 

She says a ‘soft’ variant of the opt-out system could mean everyone automatically becomes organ donors after they turn 18, but family members still have the final say if the deceased hasn’t made their wishes explicit. 

However, the Danish Ethics Council, a government advisory body, believes in maintaining the opt-in status quo. 

“The right to control oneself and one’s own body is an important principle of health care. Therefore, our recommendation is that we stick to the principles that exist today,” says the council’s Leif Vestergaard. 

You can change your organ donation status here on sundhed.dk. In 2022, 21 patients in Denmark died waiting to receive an organ. 

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