Danish parties strike deal to evacuate some Afghan employees
Denmark’s political parties have struck a deal to allow some of the Afghan staff who worked for Danish forces in Afghanistan to be evacuated, with a temporary stay in Denmark of two years. The first 45 staff will be evacuated to Denmark as soon as possible.
Evacuated former staff will be able to bring their spouses and any children under the age of 18.
“The security situation in Afghanistan is serious. The Taliban are gaining ground and development is accelerating more than many had feared,” the agreement, which was announced at just before 10pm on Wednesday night.
“We have a common responsibility to help the Afghans who are now threatened due to their connection and contribution to Denmark’s involvement in Afghanistan.”
The agreement was reached between all of Denmark’s parliamentary parties apart from the populist, anti-immigration Danish People Party and New Right Party.
The right to be evacuated to Denmark extends only to current staff of the embassy in Kabul, and those who have worked for the embassy or Danish Armed Forces over the past two years.
Those who worked for Danish authorities longer ago will still be able to apply to be evacuated under the existing law on interpreters, which requires that the person seeking evacuation is personally under threat.
Denmark scraps one-metre rule and area requirements
Denmark has scrapped its one-metre distance requirement, meaning, among other things, that cinemas and churches can fill their seats and pews.
The Danish Health Authority said in a press statement that with over 60 percent of Danish residents now fully vaccinated, it was possible to remove the requirement.
In a statement, Denmark’s culture ministry said that the change meant the end of the area and distance requirements which had been imposed on cultural institutions, sports, and other associations.
From August 14th, there will no longer be a requirement for there to be at least two square metres per person in any public room where spectators, visitors, or users gather, or for big events with standing audiences where spectators are separated into sections.
There will also no longer need to be at least one metre or one empty seat between each seated spectator for indoor cultural and sporting events with seated audiences.
The church ministry, meanwhile, said that the change meant that groups would no longer need to keep a distance of two metres between one another when singing, and that area requirements on churches would be abolished.
“We have become accustomed to looking a lot at the daily infection rates, but in the future, we will take a much broader perspective [he literally said a helicopter view]. At the Danish Health Authority, we will focus mostly on how many people become ill, particularly among the vaccinated, he told the Politiken newspaper.