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LIVING IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in December 2021

Here's what changes in Denmark in December and how it could affect you.

Brexit residency applications, travel restrictions and the return of face mask rules are among changes in Denmark in the lead up to Christmas.
Brexit residency applications, travel restrictions and the return of face mask rules are among changes in Denmark in the lead up to Christmas. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Face masks return to Denmark 

New Covid-19 rules on the use of face masks and the coronapas health pass took effect in Denmark on November 29th and will stay in effect until at least December 11th.

Face masks are now required on public transport, including taxis and ride sharing services. They will also have to be used in supermarkets and in other retail settings like shopping malls and stores.

Masks will also be required in health and social care settings such as hospitals, clinics and community care.

Rules relating to the coronapas Covid-19 health pass have also been broadened and the interval for which a negative Covid-19 test gives a valid pass reduced.

The rule changes are detailed in full in this article.

Deadline for post-Brexit permanent residency applications approaches

Applications for post-Brexit permanent residency with the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) should be sent be the end of 2021.

In its information letter sent in December last year, SIRI asked British residents born before 1946 to submit their applications up to the end of November, allowing time to attend appointments to submit biometric data, which must be done in person.

Biometric information is submitted at one of Siri’s six offices, which are in Valby outside Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aabenraa, Aalborg, and Bornholm.

The overall deadline for applying for residency is December 31st 2021. An application is considered to have been fully submitted once you have both sent in the application form and submitted biometric data.

You apply for residency at the New in Denmark page. 

READ ALSO: Brexit: Danish minister urges Denmark-based Brits to apply for new residency status

UK tightens travel restrictions on arrivals from abroad

The UK announced on Saturday that PCR tests and self-isolation for UK arrivals would be reintroduced amid concerns of the new Omicron variant that was first identified in South Africa and has now been found in several people in mainland Europe and the UK.

The new requirements are set to come into force at 4am on Tuesday, November 30th, and are therefore likely to affect travel from Denmark throughout much of not all of December.This means that if you’re arriving in the UK after 4am on Tuesday, November 30th, you’ll need to book and take PCR tests instead of lateral flow tests, which will no longer be accepted.

You’ll need to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after arriving in the UK and self-isolate until you get a negative test result.

READ ALSO: What travellers from Europe need to know about new Covid entry rules in UK

Christmas holidays 

Schools will generally close their doors for the festive season on Friday, December 17th, and reopen on Monday, January 3rd. 

This is liable to change locally, however, because term times are set by municipalities. For example, children in Frederikshavn will have to wait until the 22nd to go on their Christmas holidays.

School term dates can be looked up on the website of your local municipality.

Deadline for Christmas deliveries

It’s the season for sending letters and parcels, and it you want to be sure your gifts and cards arrive on time, there are a few dates to keep in mind.

According to Danish postal service Postnord, normal letters should be sent by December 16th and parcels by December 21st if you want them to arrive at a Danish address in time for Christmas.

If you’re sending post abroad, the deadlines for both letters and parcels are December 13th (EU plus Norway); December 6th (rest of Europe); November 29th (rest of world).

It’s worth checking the exact time of day you need to drop off parcels at your local post desk or the time at which post boxes are emptied to ensure you are within the deadline.

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in August 2022?

New parental leave rules come into force, schools return and summer flight disruption are among changes and events coming to Denmark this autumn.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in August 2022?

‘Earmarking’ parental leave laws take effect

New Danish parental leave rules, ratified last year to bring the country into line with EU directives, take effect in August.

After the EU in 2019 passed a directive which required member states to ensure a minimum of nine weeks’ “earmarked” parental leave for each parent by 2022, discussions in 2021 between the government and labour market representatives resulted in an agreement over new rules, which was passed by parliament towards the end of last year.

The parental leave is called “earmarked” (øremærket in Danish) because the two parents cannot transfer the leave from one to another, which would allow one parent to take all or nearly all of the statutory parental leave.

Under the outgoing system, 32 weeks of parental leave (forældreorlov) could be distributed between parents as much or either sees fit and can be taken concurrently or consecutively.

The new rules tag more of the statutory parental leave to each parent, with 24 weeks of leave granted per parent following the birth of a child, with a total of 11 weeks “earmarked” for each parent.

The mother has a right to four weeks’ pregnancy leave prior to giving birth and both parents can take two weeks’ parental leave immediately after the birth.

That leaves a remaining earmarked 9 weeks, which can be taken at any time withing the first year after birth but are tagged to each parent, as are the initial 2 post-birth weeks. If one parent does not use all of their 11 weeks, those weeks lapse.

We have full detail on the new rules in this article.

Kids return to school after summer holidays

The school summer holidays, which often coincide with the dates on which parents place their annual leave, are about to come to an end.

Most municipal childcare institutions (like vuggestue and børnehave) reopen on August 1st, as do childcare facilities for school-age children like skolernes fritidsordning, SFO.

The first school day after the summer holidays is Monday August 8th in most of the country, but it’s worth checking with local authorities if you’re in doubt. All municipalities post the school term dates on their websites – see Odense Municipality’s website here for an example.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about vacation in Denmark 

Festival season isn’t over yet

The return of Roskilde has successfully been and gone and the 2022 Tour de France will probably pass into Danish folklore, but it’s not all done and dusted for those who enjoy the summer vibe of music festivals and major sporting events.

August music festivals include the chillout vibes of the electronic festival Stella Polaris and the more upbeat Strøm Festival in Copenhagen.

Those with Tour de France withdrawal can bask in the Postnord Denmark Tour, the country’s traditional pro cycling race which takes in some of the locations spotted on this year’s Grand Depart.

End of negative interest rates at banks

Several Danish banks and mortgage providers announced in July that they would be increasing their interest rates.

In some cases, this means the end of negative interest rates that have seen many Danish bank customers pay to have their savings deposited with a bank.

Broadcaster TV2 lists Nykredit, Arbejdernes Landsbank, Vestjysk Bank, Lån & Spar, Saxo Bank, Stadil Sparekasse, Frørup Andelskasse, Facit Bank, Basis Bank, Bank Norwegian, Santander Consumer Bank and Lunar as banks without negative interest rates. The list is accurate from August 1st, from when Vestjysk and Lån & Spar announced they will scrap negative interest rates.

Meanwhile, Jyske Bank, Danske Bank, Nordea, Sydbank, Sparekassen Danmark and Spar Nord will all have higher interest rates effective in August (which first took effect in July in some cases), although the rates are still negative.

Since 2021, many major banks in Denmark have charged negative interest on personal accounts with a balance of more than 100,000 kroner. The policy has been a source of consternation to foreigners in Denmark, driving them (and their savings) to smaller banks that have a higher cap. 

READ ALSO: Denmark’s banks raise interest rates but many still remain negative

15,000 European flights cancelled in August

For those who have not yet been on their summer vacation, travel plans could be affected by a large number of flight cancellations for services in the coming month.

Airlines in July cancelled a further 15,000 flights in Europe this August as they continue to struggle with staff shortages and strikes, according to data.

The data, from flight airline analysis firm Citrium, show that airlines have cancelled 25,378 flights from their August schedules, of which 15,788 are in Europe.

Airlines across Europe have been struggling with staff shortages, with passengers reporting long queues at airports.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August

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