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Today in Denmark: A roundup 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 roundup of the latest news on Friday
A slight easing off of hot temperatures is forecast in Denmark this weekend. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Eight percent of new Danish coronavirus infections were picked up on trips to Spain

A total of eight percent of positive coronavirus tests registered in Denmark in the last week have been linked to the infected person’s recent travel to Spain, according to new data from the Danish Patient Safety Authority and reported by broadcaster DR.

Spain is currently classed as a yellow country under Denmark’s travel guidelines, with some regions green, meaning Denmark does not restrict travel to those countries for tourists from Denmark (although people coming from yellow regions are required to take a test on returning from their trip).

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Denmark’s latest travel rules

Spain currently has an infection rate three times higher than Denmark, DR writes. The Danish authorities update the colour coded travel guidelines for international countries and regions on Fridays. We’ll report any significant changes as they come in today.

Young Syrian allowed to stay in Denmark after authorities approve appeal

The Danish Immigration Service (Flygtningenævnet) yesterday reversed a decision to deport a young Syrian refugee to Damascus on appeal.

Aya Abu-Daher, a 19-year-old upper secondary school student who lives in Nyborg had her residence permit extended after the authority reversed on appeal a decision to withdraw her asylum status, which would have likely meant she would have been forced to move into a Danish expulsion or departure centre and await deportation.

Abu-Daher, whose situation gained considerable media attention after she was initially told she would not be allowed to complete her school exams, told newspaper Politiken yesterday afternoon she felt “reborn”.

The future of many other Syrian refugees in Denmark remains uncertain after the country withdrew asylum status from dozens of people. The country maintains that conditions in and around Damascus are safe to return refugees in some cases, a position disputed by experts and not taken by other EU countries.

READ ALSO:

Busy traffic expected as many in Denmark take summer holiday

Thousands of people across the country are today expected to hit the roads this weekend as they travel towards summer houses and holiday homes. That is because the statutory holiday for people in many sectors falls during the coming weeks.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about vacation in Denmark

The Danish Road Directorate (Vejdirektoratet) has encouraged drivers to consider the best times to set out in order to keep traffic smooth. Saturday is expected to be particularly busy, news wire Ritzau reports, with motorists heading across Zealand and Funen and south through Jutland.

Break in heat forecast this weekend

This week has seen some truly scorching, dry weather in Denmark, in stark contrast to the catastrophic images of flooding in Germany and Belgium in recent days.

The heat is forecast to ease a little this weekend, with national meteorologist DMI predicting between 20-25 degrees Celsius on Saturday and 18-23 degrees, with some cloud and wind, on Sunday. Friday will be hot at up to 30 degrees Celsius, although a little more breeze could be felt than in preceding days this week.

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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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