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

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 Wednesday
The art museums in Skagen will have to close if the town goes into lockdown. Photo: Skagens Museums

Danish holiday town Skagen faces lockdown 

Skagen, the much-loved holiday town in northern Jutland risks going into a local lockdown after the number of new infections per 100,000 people rose to 835.8. 

The number of infections in the town has been rising rapidly since the end of July, with the incidence quadrupling in six days. 

Under Denmark’s local lockdown rules, a district or parish is shut down if it passes two of three thresholds: an incidence of over 1,000 per 100,000, more than 20 active cases, and a positive test percentage of more than 3. 

Danish test centre starts to offer drop-in vaccines 

A test centre in Odense is offering drop-in vaccinations, which can be given without an appointment, in the hope of increasing vaccine take-up among young Danes. 

Under a cooperation agreement with a nearby vaccination centre, the test centre at Billedskærervej Odense has started asking all people getting tested if they are vaccinated and if they are not, asking them if hey want to go to the vaccination centre around the corner and get their first jab. 

Schools in Denmark still lack guidelines for reopening 

Pupils will return to the classrooms next week, but the Danish Health Authority has yet to update the latest guidelines, which were issued on February 5th, the Berlingske newspaper has reported.

“We expect to be able to send out an update at the same time as the schools start,” Andreas Rudkjøbing, a doctor with the authority, told the Berlingske newspaper. 

According to the newspaper, the authority is advising the Ministry of Children and Education on how to update the guidelines.

Danish parish priest jailed for murdering wife and dissolving body in acid

A Danish parish priest been jailed for 15 years for murdering his wife by striking her on the back of her head with a stone and then dissolving her body in acid.

“I killed Maria. I ended her life, she did not deserve that fate,” Gotthard said at the end of his trial on Tuesday. “I am guilty of having lied and deceived you all. I’ve been a total thug. I have sent my life out into the darkness where I want to stay. No one should feel sorry for me.” 

In a closed-door hearing, Thomas Gotthard had that morning told the court how he had planned the murder of 43-year-old Maria From Jakobsen and how, once she was unconscious, he had smothered her nose and mouth with his hands for several minutes until she was dead.

He said he had decided to murder her because of problems in his marriage and his fear that a divorce would have caused problems with his children and his existing ex-wife. He had also started a relationship with another woman who has was “wildly in love with”. 

“It’s terrible to say, but it became a sort of hobby for him,” said Prosecutor Anne-Mette Seerup as she read out the explanation Gotthard had given in court. “This is not an unhappy love story about a man who could not get the love of his life. Or the third love of his life. On the contrary, this is a man who saw his wife as a block and chain around his leg.” 

Influenced by an episode of Breaking Bad he had seen, Gotthard decided to dissolve the body in acid, buying a 208-litre feed barrel for the purpose. Read our story here

‘Problematic’ Greenland polar bear may be shot

A polar bear in Greenland may be shot dead next time it endangers people after several close encounters, including one
where it bit the hand of a documentary team member, authorities said.

The attack on the documentary team near an army base comes as the autonomous Danish Arctic territory experiences a record heatwave and as polar bears wander further for food.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A rare day of sunshine, a major fire in Copenhagen, and energy companies forced to 'give back' a billion kroner are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Sunshine ahead 

Denmark can look forward to a rare day of winter sun on Friday, according to the latest from the Danish Meteorological Institute. 

DMI meteorologist Klaus Larsen says temperatures will hover above freezing and the wind will be manageable today as the clouds part. 

It will be a brief reprieve, however — the clouds will return promptly for the weekend. Take an hour to sit yourself outside like a potted plant. 

READ ALSO: Why Denmark’s extra grey January can cause winter blues, and what might help

Massive fire in west Copenhagen due to possible explosion 

A “major” fire on Damhus Boulevard took 21 vehicles and 49 firefighters to subdue, according to tweets from the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department. 

The fire broke out in an occupied building currently undergoing renovation, the Fire Department says. A news outlet that was on the scene while the fire was still active reports the emergency began with an explosion, which appears to be corroborated by images of the scene that show debris scattered well away from the building. 

Mads Dam of the Western Copenhagen police told news agency Ritzau that he couldn’t provide any information about the cause of the fire. “It all needs to cool down before our technicians can come in and examine it,” Dam said. 

Tax minister: energy companies owe Danes a billion kroner 

Energy companies will have to fork over 1.2 billion kroner of the last year’s windfall to the Danish treasury, tax minister Jeppe Bruus told business news outlet Finans. 

“We will return that money to consumers in the forthcoming negotiations on inflation relief,” Bruus said. He added that the 1.2 billion kroner sum is a fraction of what was expected to be recovered, which had been estimated at more than 10 billion. 

In September, European Commission announced plans to cap to energy company profits as well as levy collections from fossil energy companies to the tune of 140 billion euros, news agency Ritzau reports. 

READ ALSO: How much will energy cost in 2023 in Denmark compared to 2022?