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TODAY IN DENMARK

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
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen talks to journalists on Tuesday morning at the start of the government's conference on Denmark's future. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s government holds conference on ‘the future of Denmark’ 

Denmark’s ruling Social Democrat government launches a conference on Tuesday on “the future of Denmark”, with speeches and workshops aimed at drawing a line under the coronavirus pandemic and refocusing the government on the goals for the rest of this parliamentary term, and into the next one. 

The government has invited in a broad selection of Danish society to discuss how to reform Denmark’s welfare state. 

Everyone in Denmark will have a third vaccine dose’: Health Minister

Denmark’s health authorities now expect to give third vaccine doses to everyone in the country, and aim to vaccinate 90 percent of the population, the country’s health minister said at a press conference on Monday.

At a press conference called by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen to update citizens on the coronavirus pandemic, Magnus Heunicke said that the health authorities were now planning for booster doses to be universal.

“The expectation in Denmark is that we will all have a third dose of the vaccine,” he said. “The question is when.”

The Danish Health Authority said last week that it would publish guidelines this week on who in the country will be eligible for booster doses and when they can be expected to receive them, with the agency’s deputy director saying that the first in line would be people with health conditions that weaken their immune systems. Read our story here

Danish invests 800m kroner in pharma company to develop corona vaccine 

Denmark is investing 800m kroner in the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Bavarian Nordic, a Danish pharmaceuticals company. At a press conference on Monday, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said the country would get at least half of the investment back in the form of doses, if the vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency, as expected, early next year. 

Danish parties call for Covid-19 to be downgraded from ‘an illness which is a threat to society’

Denmark’s centre-right Liberal party and far-left Red-Green Alliance have both called for Covid-19 to be downgraded so that is no longer classes as a serious threat to society, which will prevent the government from ordering local lockdowns, residence bans and compulsory tests.

“I think it is urgent, because from a reasonably sober consideration, we just have to state that Covid-19 does not as it is now live up to the definition of a socially critical disease, as described in the Epidemic Act,” said Peder Hvelplund, the Red-Green Alliance’s Covid-19 spokesperson. 

850 Afghans apply to come to Denmark under 2013 interpreter agreement

Around 850 Afghans applied last weekend to be allowed to come to Denmark via 2013 translator agreement, but only one of them met the criteria to be evacuated. 

“Until August 10th, we had four applications from people who said that they had been interpreters and worked with Danish soldiers,” Defence Minister Trine Bramsen said. “At the beginning of last week, the number increased, and now we have well over 1,000 applications. “Last week we identified 36 interpreters, and now over the weekend we have, out of many applications, identified one who has collaborated with Danish soldiers.”

Denmark to cut Covid-19 tax break for building work 

Denmark’s finance minister plans to drop the Boligjobordningen, or “housing jobs regulation”, brought in to encourage home-owners to hire builders and other artisans over the pandemic, from its coming finance bill, arguing that the sector is booming no longer needs government support. 

In 2021, the government doubled the allowed tax deduction for wages for craftsmen for energy improvements or climate adaptations from 12,500 to 25,000 kroner. According to TV2 the tax break is now being returned to normal. 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

No extra booser dose, school to trial four-day week, PostNord to document failed deliveries, and mortgage arrears on the rise. Here are some of the main stories from Denmark.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Covid-19: Denmark decides against additional booster this winter

No additional booster vaccination against Covid-19 will be offered this winter, the Danish Health Authority confirmed on Wednesday.

Together with an expert advisory group, the Health Authority has considered whether to offer vulnerable groups an extra booster vaccination against Covid-19 this winter.

People at higher risk of serious illness with the virus including those over the age of 85 will not be offered a further booster this winter, the authority has decided.

Denmark offered a booster in autumn 2022 to all people over the age of 50 and younger people considered vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The booster was backed up by data suggesting it improves protection against hospitalisation with Covid-19 by 74 percent, according to the Danish Health Authority.

Danish vocab: boosterstik – booster dose

Defense Minister hospitalised after dizzy spell

Denmark’s defense minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, was examined at the Rigshospitalet hospital in Copenhagen on Wednesday after a spell of dizziness and a headache.

“Fortunately, there is nothing serious to report and I am feeling well again,” Ellemann-Jensen said in a Facebook post. “I, therefore, expect to be back in work clothes again tomorrow, and then of course I will pay extra attention to my health in the near future.” 

On Monday, Ellemann-Jensen was in the  Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv together with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) and Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, with the three meeting the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyj.

Danish vocab: et ildebefindende – a malaise 

Danish school to trial four-day week

Pupils and teachers at Aalborg Cathedral School are to launch an experiment with a four-day week after the summer holidays, exchanging six days of their summer holidays for six Mondays off over the autumn term to see if it brings improved well-being. 

“We have been inspired by those workplaces which operate with four-day working weeks. Then we talked about whether we could do something similar, because there is a lot of pressure on both staff and students,” Christian Nielsen Warmin, the school’s headteacher, told the Danish broadcaster TV2

Danish vocab: bedre trivsel – improved well-being

PostNord to consider photo documentation of failed deliveries 

Denmark’s PostNord postal service is considering making postal workers document failed deliveries to reduce the level of customer complaints. 

The company’s CEO in Denmark, Peter Kjær Jensen, said he believed that it was rare for postal workers to claim to have tried to deliver a package without even visiting the property, but acknowledged that many people in Denmark felt angry when they receive a message about a failed delivery despite being home all day. 

“We have very few of these cases, but they do exist. And we have also had postmen who are not skilled enough, or who have misunderstood how parcels are delivered correctly,” he said. 

The company is currently trialling photo documentation in Stenløse, Ølstykke and Veksø, with postal workers required to take a photo of the package that has been delivered without direct customer contact in order to document the delivery, or take a picture of the building’s entrance to prove that they have visited.

“Customers will be able to access the image via our app if the package fails to be delivered,” Jensen said. 

Danish vocab: dygtig – skilled

Danish mortgage arrears increase as costs go up

A higher number of Danish homeowners are finding it difficult to meet the repayment schedule on their mortgages, new figures show.

Data from the interest organisation from banks, Finans Danmark, shows that the “arrears percent” or restanceprocent was 0.14 percent in the third quarter of 2022, a small increase compared to preceding quarters.

That means homeowners on average did not pay 1.4 kroner in every 1,000 kroner they were due to pay on their mortgages during the quarter.

It is understandable that late 2022 presented challenges for homeowners, an analyst said in comments to the Ritzau newswire.

Danish vocab: restanceprocent – the percentage of homeowners in arrears

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