Today in Denmark: A round-up of the 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 round-up of the news on Tuesday
The village of Skelund in northeast Jutland will no longer be in lockdown from Wednesday. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark to end last local lockdowns on Wednesday 

The administrative order which has meant Danish parishes are forced to close if infection levels pass certain limits expires on Wednesday, meaning the last of the country’s local lockdowns will be lifted.  

The order, which has been in place since the middle of April, currently means that four parishes are locked down: Tvis in Holstebro, Skelund in Mariagerfjord, Vollsmose in Odense and Saltum in Jammerbugt.

Under the order, parishes have locked down if the infection rate rises above more than the equivalent of 10 infected per 1,000 residents at the same time as at least 20 people are infected, and at least three percent of tests are positive. 

All Denmark’s rapid test sites to close by Oct 9th

The Danish Critical Supply Agency has announced that many PCR and rapid test sites across the country will be shuttered during the month of September. All rapid test sites will close by Oct. 9th.

According to a press release, Denmark’s rapid test capacity will be halved from 200,000 to 100,000 tests per day by Sept. 13th. Starting Sept. 1st, the PCR capacity will be reduced from 170,000 to 100,000 tests per day. This comes in step with the loosening of the last Covid-19 restrictions in Denmark and a full return, it is hoped, to normal life.

“We are monitoring the situation in close cooperation with the regions and we will be able to scale up quickly to test more people if needed,” DCSA director Lisbet Zilmer-Johns said. Read our story here

Denmark’s economy now bigger than before Covid-19 

Denmark’s GDP grew 2.3 percent in the second three months of this year, according to Danish Statistics, the national statistics agency, meaning the economy is now bigger than it was when the Covid-19 crisis began in March 2020. 

“The ongoing reopening of society in the second quarter gave a powerful push to both private consumption and GDP,” the agency said in a press release. “It has been established as a result that the Danish economy is now at a higher level than it was before the Covid-19 crisis.”

Denmark gives foreign service new anti-migration mission   

Denmark’s foreign minister Jeppe Kofod plans to send more diplomats to countries in Africa with the aim of helping to slow migration to Denmark, as part of what the government is calling the biggest reorganisation of the country’s foreign service in 30 years.  

The reorganisation with include additional diplomats sent to Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Mali, and a travelling ambassador to Somalia based in Kenya. 

“Migration, and addressing the causes of migration, is really important,” Kofod told the Politiken newspaper. “That is why we are also strengthening our diplomatic fighting power both in the EU, the UN and NATO, but also of course in North Africa and Africa as such.” 

Danish left bloc wants more focus on climate and children in budget 

The Social Liberal, Socialist Left, and Red-Green alliance parties have called for the budget proposed by the government on Monday to be changed to give greater focus to climate issues and children. 

“We are not committed opponents to what we’ve just seen but we believe it is unambitious,” said Lisbeth Bech-Nielsen, the Socialist Left party’s finance spokesperson. “We think that it lacks a welfare focus.” 

The party wants a maximum of 24 pupils per class in primary school, among other measures. 

The Social Liberal party, on the other hand want to use money for climate measures 

“We want to do something good for the climate and take some steps towards our 70 percent goal,” the party’s spokesperson Andreas Steenberg said.  

Mai Villadsen, from the Red Green Alliance said that the government was not taking climate change seriously enough. 

“The government us completely overlooking the green transition with this budget bill,” she said. “Nature and the climate are in crisis. Investment in green transition is needed now – not just after climate change has swept over us.” 

Denmark to give booster Covid vaccines to those with ‘weakened immune systems’

The Danish Health Authority has published a list of which citizens will be prioritised for a third, booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine, with some 50,000 people likely to be eligible.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Danish Health Authority said that those in the categories chosen would receive an invitation in the e-Boks digital postbox in the same way as they had for their first and second doses.

“The vast majority of people with a weakened immune system are expected to be well protected against a serious course of Covid-19 when they have been vaccinated,” Helene Probst, the authority’s deputy director said in the release.

“However, people with a severely weakened immune system have a very reduced or no effect of the vaccine. Therefore, they will now be offered a third dose to boost their immune response and thus protect them from a serious infection with Covid-19.” Read our story here

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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