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

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 Tuesday
Passengers gather at a Delta airline's counter at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, May 23, 2021. Photo: Carlos Barria/ REUTERS.

United States holds firm on travel restrictions – Danes without US citizenship or a close family tie are still barred

In mid-July, President Joseph Biden offered a glimmer of hope for Danes hoping to visit the US by announcing his intention to review travel restrictions against the EU. Those hopes were dashed late Monday evening by a decision to keep current travel restrictions in place in light of the accelerating Delta variant. 

US restrictions on travel from the EU began in March 2020. US citizens, lawful permanent residents, non-citizen nationals of the US and a few close family connections are exempt from the ban, as are certain people serving diplomatic or anti-pandemic roles at the request of the US government. 

The decision is a blow to airlines that have lobbied for the change for months, and for Europeans eager to visit family and friends in the United States. As the New York Times pointed out, the ban can be circumvented by travellers willing to spend 14 days in a country not restricted by the US before attempting to enter the country. 

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about travel between Denmark and the US 

Another Danish Covid death, and changing goalposts?

A Covid patient in Denmark died on Monday, according to the Statens Serum Institut, the Danish infectious disease agency. This follows more than a week without Covid fatalities, highlighting the progress Denmark has made at limiting severe disease. As of Monday, there were 60 Covid patients receiving inpatient care in Danish hospitals, 10 of whom are in intensive care and six on respirators. 

The SSI has shifted its focus from preventing a healthcare system overload to controlling infection numbers, and some right-wing Danish politicians contend that changing the metrics for success could undermine reopening plans for the autumn, Danish public television station DR reports

However, the Danish Ministry of Health insists the original reopening programme will continue as scheduled, with most everything – including nightlife and coronapas-less indoor dining – phased back in on September 1st. ThecCoronapas vaccine and testing passport system is set to twilight on October 1st, barring any changes. 

READ MORE: What tourists need to know about Denmark’s coronapas system 

Delta infections in partially-vaccinated a concern for Danish health authorities

More than 20 percent of all new Delta infections in Denmark have occurred in people with their first, but not their second, dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. 

“With this Delta variant, you can see that you are significantly less protected after one sting than when you are fully vaccinated,” the SSI’s Palle Valentiner-Branth told Danish news agency Ritzau. 

But that doesn’t mean the first dose is insignificant. “Hospitalizations and serious illness are rare in those who have had one or two stings, so that is good news,” Valentiner Branth added. 

Breakthrough infections – infections in fully vaccinated people – remain very rare, with about 0.1 percent of people with both jabs still contracting the coronavirus. 

READ MORE: Denmark reaches Covid vaccination landmark… but experts warn there’s a long way to go

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Broad support for women's conscription, 'massive' issues at psychiatric centre that treated Field's shooter, and poor marks from NATO for Danish defense are among the top news stories in Denmark this Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Broad support for women’s conscription in Denmark 

The Minister of Defense and many political parties have thrown their support behind extending conscription to women in Denmark after trade unions representing Danish soldiers called for the change. 

“We must have equality for men and women in the Armed Forces,” Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen told broadcaster TV2. “It is a challenge for the women who serve their military service that they are not measured on the same scale.” 

Eight political parties — Conservatives, the Danish People’s Party, the Socialist People’s Party, the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Social Liberals (Radikale), the New Right (Nye Borgerlige), Alternative, and the Left — have all voiced support for the measure. 

In 2022, 73 percent of people in military service were men, while 27 percent were female, according to news agency Ritzau. 

Today, men in Denmark are required to register for conscription following their 18th birthday, while registering for conscription is optional for women. 

A true draft hasn’t been in effect in Denmark for many years — the ranks of Denmark’s conscripts, about 4,500 a year, are filled with volunteers. They serve a standard service of four months, while specialized units (like the horse squadron) can serve up to 12 months. 

Inspectors: Withering criticism of psychiatric centre that treated Fields shooter 

An investigation by the Danish Patient Safety Authority has identified grave problems at Psychiatric Centre Amager, where the suspected Field’s shooter was treated before the attack, according to a draft of the agency’s report reviewed by newspaper Jyllands-Posten. 

The inspection was triggered when an employee at Psychiatric Centre Amager told authorities they suspected there had been failures in the man’s treatment. 

The Danish Patient Safety Authority finds that nurses routinely changed patients’ medications without consulting doctors, while medical students sometimes prescribed antipsychotic and sedative medications to patients again without consulting a doctor. 

The 22-year-old man charged with the Field’s shooting reached out to Psychiatric Centre Amager about six months before the attack. He was referred to four different departments within the Psychiatric Centre Amager, according to timelines produced by broadcaster TV2. 

READ MORE: Why does it take so long in Denmark to see a psychologist or therapist?

NATO report: Danish defense deficiencies 

Every two years, NATO assesses its members’ progress toward the alliance’s defense goals. While those reports are usually made public, the Danish government chose to censor the results of the most recent assessment, published several month ago, for fear of Russian exploitation. Even the previous minister of defense, Morten Bødskov, said he had not been allowed to review the contents of the report. 

But now, defense rapporteurs in Parliament have finally been briefed on the NATO report, according to news agency Ritzau. 

“We must not be naive,” says current defense minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen. “This is a sensitive analysis of the Danish defense which points to our vulnerabilities. But within this framework, we must also be open about the challenges facing defense — both among the parties at Christianborg and in public.” 

READ MORE: US military unloads transport ship at Aarhus Harbour