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Today in Denmark: A round-up of the 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 round-up of the news on Wednesday
Queen Margrethe during a visit to Esbjerg on Tuesday. Photo: John Randeris/Ritzau Scanpix

Coronavirus restrictions lifted 

The first day of September sees Denmark’s remaining coronavirus restrictions come to an end. This means the return of nightclubs after an 18-month absence, free reign for organisers of festivals and other large events, and a farewell to the corona passport in bars, restaurants, and fitness centres (although they will be needed at the newly-reopened nightclubs).

The administrative order which triggers local lockdowns if infection expires on Wednesday, meaning existing local lockdowns will be lifted.  

Meanwhile, health authorities will begin scaling down testing capacity, and financial support for businesses impacted by the pandemic comes to an end.

Later this month, Covid-19 in Denmark will be officially reclassified from a “critical threat to society” to an infectious disease which is “dangerous to public health”.

You can read more about the changes to coronavirus rules (and other changes to life in Denmark) in September here.

Supreme court to make final ruling on notorious gang

The Danish supreme court, Højesteret, will today decide whether to uphold an earlier decision by a lower court to ban the Loyal to Familia (LTF) gang, making the organised crime group illegal.

The final ruling will come just under three years since Copenhagen Police initially applied a ban against the gang, which was linked to a series of shooting incidents in the capital in 2017.

Since then, both the city court in Copenhagen and the high court for the east of Denmark (Østre Landsret) ruled in favour of the ban on the basis that LTF is a violent organisation.

The case is considered to be precedent-setting, as earlier described by broadcaster DR, because it relates to the Danish constitution, which guarantees the right for people to gather in organised associations.

A ruling is expected by 12pm today.

Foreign Ministry extends help to Afghan interpreters attempting to flee to Denmark 

The foreign ministry has decided extend its assistance to people trying to reach Denmark from Afghanistan.

Up to 1,000 persons have already been helped to get to Denmark, according to DR, with authorities aware of at least 88 more, including 41 Afghans, still in need of assistance.

People with connection to Denmark who may be threatened by the Taliban takeover can apply at Danish consulates or embassies in the region for temporary asylum under a special provision.

Those who were employed locally by Denmark in Afghanistan, including people who worked as interpreters, can apply for help under the extended provision, according to the foreign ministry.

Opt-in Covid-19 vaccination scheme ends 

The opt-in scheme enabling people in Denmark to receive the Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca vaccines against Covid-19 comes to an end today.

The scheme allowed a private company, Practio, to administer the two vaccines outside of the national vaccination programme. Vaccination under the scheme required approval following a medical consultation.

Denmark pulled the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines from its national programme earlier this year due to concerns over very rare but serious side effects.

The country’s national Covid-19 vaccination programme using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines continues.

READ ALSO: Will people in Denmark who got the Johnson & Johnson jab get booster shots?

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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?