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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Face masks must be used in Danish stores and on public transport from November 29th.
Face masks must be used in Danish stores and on public transport from November 29th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Face mask rules come into effect 

The decision made by parliament last week to reimplement face mask rules in settings including public transport and retail comes into effect today.

Rules relating to the use of the coronapas also change, with the health pass now required in a broader range of situations. It is also valid for a shorter period when based on a negative Covid-19 test.

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

Omicron variant confirmed in Denmark

The breakthrough of a new concerning Covid-19 variant, Omicron, rippled through Europe during the weekend and Denmark was not spared.

Two cases of infection with the variant have been confirmed in persons who travelled from South Africa to Denmark, broadcaster DR and other Danish media reported on Sunday. Health authorities are undertaking extensive contact tracing including the close contacts of close contacts – also referred to as “third link” to the confirmed cases.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said Denmark’s strategy was to delay the spread of the variant of Omicron as much as possible. He also said no new restrictions were would be put in place here and now in response to the variant.

Meanwhile, a case involving a “new variant” has been detected at a school in Odense, DR reports this morning. The school has consequently been closed. It is unconfirmed whether this new variant is also Omicron.

We’ll report on all developments as we get them today and in the time to come.

UK travel rules add layers of difficulty to trips from Denmark

The United Kingdom on Saturday announced that all travellers from abroad will be required to take a PCR test on day 2 after arrival, and must isolate until that test returns a negative result.

The decision was made in response to the emergence of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The change in rules makes travel to the UK from all countries, including Denmark, considerably more difficult – not least because of the impractical system of private suppliers and expensive tests which must be used by anyone who wants to go to the country.

We have details on the UK travel rules in this article.

Nurses to stage new walk-out in ongoing protests

Nurses across the country are undertaking hour-long protests this morning to show their opposition and frustration over wages and working conditions.

The walk-outs, which have been ongoing intermittently for months, are a protest against government enforcement of a collective bargaining agreement, after union talks broke down during the summer.

Thousands of nurses earlier took part in union-sanctioned strikes earlier this year before the government stepped in to impose new terms in the absence of an agreement between the nurses’ union and state employers.

READ ALSO: Danish nurses told by court to return to work

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Lower fees for using Visa-Dankort abroad, more parents choosing private midwives, and record inflation are among the top news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

In case you missed it: here’s who is eligible for monkeypox vaccines 

Denmark will now offer monkeypox vaccinations to all men who have sex with men and have multiple sexual partners. Previously, the shots were only given to people who had been in close contact with a confirmed case.

It’s important to emphasize that anyone can get monkeypox from close contact, not just men who have sex with men.

READ MORE: Monkeypox: Denmark to offer vaccination to at-risk group

Denmark sees highest inflation since 1983 

Consumer prices have climbed 8.7 percent since July 2021, according to figures from the government agency Statistics Denmark. It’s the highest rate of inflation the country has experienced since 1983.

Skyrocketing prices for food, electricity, and fuel are driving the change to price indices, newswire Ritzau reports. 

READ MORE: Will house prices in Denmark ever fall? 

Danske Bank lowers fees for purchases abroad 

An order goes into effect Wednesday requiring Danske Bank to charge customers less when paying in foreign currencies. 

Earlier this year, the Competition Council determined both Danske Bank and Nordea added unreasonable surcharges to purchases abroad — 1.5 percent within the EU and 2 percent for the rest of the world. 

As per the Competition Council’s findings, Danske Bank must drop the currency exchange surcharge altogether within the EU and reduce the rate to 1.5 percent outside the bloc. 

Danske Bank has already appealed the decision and will argue their case before a judge at the Copenhagen District Court.

READ MORE: Danish banks raise interest rates but many remain negative 

Business booms for private midwives 

Demand for private midwives has increased steadily over the past five years as cuts to the public system have left midwives there overburdened, broadcaster DR reports

The number of parents-to-be applying for subsidies for private midwives jumped 17 percent from 2020 to 2021 alone, data from health insurance agency Sygeforsikring Danmark show. 

Parents cite a desire for more personalised attention, DR finds. In particular, new parents are eager for more frequent pre-natal scans and more help breastfeeding after baby is born. 

READ MORE: Denmark presents plan to hire 100 more staff at maternity wards