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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup 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.

Morning traffic in Aalborg on December 1st 2021.
Morning traffic in Aalborg on December 1st 2021. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Two additional Omicron Covid-19 cases confirmed 

Two more Covid-19 cases in Denmark have been confirmed as caused by the new Omicron variant, the national infectious disease agency SSI said yesterday afternoon.

The new cases bring the total number of incidences of the variant in Denmark to at least four, with several more still under investigation.

All cases so far are connected to travel to South Africa, the country which first detected and raised the alarm over the variant last week.

A school in Odense which was closed due to a suspected case with the variant meanwhile said that Omicron had been found not to have been at play in the case in question.

Snowstorms in Zealand and Jutland

Much of the country is seeing heavy snow or sleet this morning, with weather following the warnings earlier issued by met office DMI of snowstorms in much of Jutland and northern parts of Zealand.

Temperatures are between freezing point and 2 degrees Celsius, so any snow that settles is likely to quickly melt.

The weather could cause traffic delays and motorists are advised to take the conditions into account.

Government to present updated list of underprivileged areas

The government will today publish an updated list of areas which are considered “udsatte” or underprivileged, including the list formerly known as the “ghetto list”. That term has now fortunately been scrapped in official references to the list.

In order to be included on the list, a housing area must meet a set number of criteria. The criteria relate to factors including the ethnic backgrounds of residents, employment status and income.

The list is relevant because neighbourhoods included on it on the list can be subjected to special treatment under the law, including harsher punishments for certain crimes, mandatory daycare for children, and housing reforms which can force people to move.

The list is renewed annually on December 1st.

READ ALSO: Denmark cracks down on ‘non-Western’ neighbourhoods

Long-term unemployment down but still higher than before pandemic

The number of people classed as langtidsledige or long-term unemployed has declined in recent months but is still some way of reaching pre-Covid levels, according to official figures reported by news wire Ritzau.

To fall into the category, a person must have been out of work for 80 percent of the last 12 months.

October saw the number of people in that situation fall by 3,500 to 27,965. It peaked in April this year at 42,300. Before Covid-19 hit Denmark, there were around 24,500 long-term unemployed.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

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 

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