Today in Denmark: A round-up of the 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 round-up of the news on Friday
Nurses filled the debating chamber in the parliament for the vote imposing the mediated solution. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark to scrap ALL Covid-19 restrictions

Denmark will on September 10th stop classifying Covid-19 as an “illness which is a critical threat to society”, meaning all remaining restrictions will expire, and you will not even require a coronapas to enter nightclubs or Superliga football games. 

In a press release issued on Friday morning, the country’s health minister Magnus Heunicke said that the high level of vaccination in Denmark, particularly among the vulnerable, had radically altered the risks posed by the virus.

“The epidemic is under control, we have record high vaccination rates,” he said in a statement. “As a result, on September 10th, we can drop some of the special rules we have had to introduce in the fight against Covid-19.”

September 10th marks the expiry date for that the executive order classifying Covid-19 as a “socially critical illness”, which was passed by the Danish parliament’s Epidemic Committee on March 10th last year. 

Danish parliament imposes pay deal on striking nurses 

The Danish parliament on Friday passed a special bill imposing a pay deal on nurses and the Danish regions that employ them. 

The bill, which will force the parties to accept the compromise reached in talks with a government mediator earlier this year, was supported by the Social Democrats, the Liberals, the Radicals, the Conservatives, the New Right party and the Liberal Alliance. It was rejected by the Socialist Left Party, the Red-Green Alliance, the Danish People’s Party, and the Christian Democrats.

The members of Denmark’s nursing union in May voted down the pay deal, opening the way for a 10-week strike. 

Denmark to join ‘green list’ for quarantine-free travel to the UK

Denmark will next week move onto the UK’s “green list”, meaning travellers from Denmark who are not vaccinated no longer not need to go into quarantine on arrival in the UK.

Denmark has evacuated nearly 1,000 people from Afghanistan 

A total of 988 people have been flown to Denmark from Afghanistan during the government’s evacuation, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday, with the last plane due to land on Friday. 

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a statement that he was relieved that the operation had been carried out, despite the challenging conditions. 

“We can now put an end to an evacuation effort, which will no doubt be written into the history books. I think anyone who has seen the pictures from Kabul can see that it has been a hugely serious and very difficult situation,” he said. “Words cannot describe the difficult conditions under which our people in Kabul and Islamabad have operated 24 hours a day.”

Among the evacuees are 226 people who served as interpreters or other employees for the Danish armed forces in Afghanistan, or who are their family members. There are a further 161 Afghans who have worked for NATO, the EU or the UN, together with their relatives.

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Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Tuesday

Danish ship sailed near Russian ships before Nord Stream blast, Danish Health Authority orders cancer review, Danish artist launches epic troll hunt, and Denmark third in Europe on patent applications per head. Here's some of the news on Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: a roundup of the news on Tuesday

Danish ship allegedly sailed after Russian ships near the Nord Stream

The Danish patrol vessel P524 Nymfen was sailing in the area around the gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 just four days before they were hit by several explosions on 26 September last year, the UK’s Times newspaper has reported. 

According to the German news site T-online, six Russian warships were in the area at the same time, including the submarine support ship SS-750, which had the mini-submarine AS-26 with it.

According to the site, SS-750 turned off its tracking device when it neared the area where the gas pipelines were blown up.

Shortly afterwards, a Swedish ship, K31 Visby, sailed to the area. 

Danish vocab: patruljefartøj – patrol vessel 

Danish Health Authority orders cancer treatment review 

Søren Brostrøm, the director of the Danish Health Authority, has ordered a survey of cancer care in Denmark after DR reported that 182 patients had waited too long for an operation at Aarhus University Hospital.

Following DR’s report, a survey found that 293 patients had waited for more than the two weeks prescribed by law over the past year. The Central Denmark Region had not reported the delays to the Danish Health Authority because the patients had accepted that the waiting time would be longer than two weeks. 

It has since emerged that the Capital Region around Copenhagen has also failed to report excess waiting times for cancer patients. 

Danish vocab: ventetiden – waiting times 

Danish artist hatches epic global troll hunt

A Danish artist famous for his towering wooden trolls sent fans on a worldwide quest Monday to find his latest creation.

Thomas Dambo has created a complex treasure hunt to find “Moon Mother”, his 100th troll sculpture, who he said has “crawled into the most secret spot in the forest” to give birth.

His giant figures inspired by Scandinavian folk tales are often located off the beaten track to tempt children and adults to venture out into nature, and to show what you can do with recycled materials.

To find “Moon Mother”, fans will have to piece together codes placed near his existing trolls across the world.

“I decided to make a super secret one and make it an intricate treasure hunt that leads you around all the other ones I’ve made through the years,” Dambo told AFP.

Denmark third in Europe on patent applications per head 

Denmark was third only to Switzerland and Sweden in 2022 in the number of patent applications lodged with the European Patent Office per million inhabitants according to the latest figures.

Denmark made 453 applications per million inhabitants, just behind Sweden on 482 and Switzerland on 1,031. See graph for details

“It is gratifying that we have continued to invest in innovation and patents even under the difficult conditions seen over the last year,” said Flemming Kønig Mejl, who leads the international cooperation division at the Danish Patent and Trademark Office.

“It just shows that Danish companies are good at prioritising research and development. It is also something that we make a living from in Denmark, and which helps to create jobs.” 

Danish vocab: patentansøgninger – patent applications