Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Monday

People in Denmark have significantly cut back on plastic bag use.
People in Denmark have significantly cut back on plastic bag use. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix
Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Health service to get billion kroner extra in funding 

Significant extra funding is to be given to the Danish health service after the government and its parliamentary partners last night agreed a deal as part of ongoing budget negotiations.

The deal means a billion kroner has been set aside for additional spending in extraordinary circumstances, and will be used to retain health sector staff and boost hospital capacity.

We’ll have more detail in a report on our website today.

Budget agreement to be presented

The 2022 budget agreement will meanwhile be presented today after a delay to completion of the new finance law was confirmed by the government at the end of last week.

Deals on climate, environment and the health sector were among those secured in recent days, according to broadcaster DR.

Parliament usually votes through the next year’s budget in December, but proposals are normally tabled in early autumn – the original proposal for 2022 was presented at the end of August

‘Concerning’ jump in Omicron cases

Health authorities said on Sunday that the country had seen a “concerning” jump to 183 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The number represented a tripling of confirmed cases in  48 hours, from 18 confirmed and 42 suspected cases on Friday, according to data from the SSI public health institute.

Because it sequences a high proportion of samples, Denmark often detects variant cases more quickly than its neighbours — which does not necessarily indicate higher rates of infection.

SSI’s chief said the increase in Omicron cases was nevertheless “concerning”, adding that “there are now chains of infection where the variant is found in people who have not travelled abroad or been in contact with travellers”.

READ ALSO: Denmark reports ‘concerning’ jump in Omicron cases

Plastic bag use nearly halved in four years

The number of plastic bags used in Denmark has been almost halved since 2017, DR writes.

As many as 343 million such carrier bags were used in the country four years ago – 59 per person – but the figure is now significantly lower.

This year’s number is expected to be around 183 million bags, or 32 per person, according to the report. This also means Denmark is within an EU 2025 target of 40 plastic bags per person.

The figures cited in the report come from the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) and tax agency SKAT.

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