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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.

A parking spot for charging electric and hybrid cars in Copenhagen. A tax incentive for the latter type of vehicle has been criticised by left wing parties.
A parking spot for charging electric and hybrid cars in Copenhagen. A tax incentive for the latter type of vehicle has been criticised by left wing parties. File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Conservative parties want Danish entry Covid test rules lifted

After Sweden yesterday dropped rules requiring travellers from Denmark and elsewhere to present a negative Covid-19 test on arrival, the Danish Liberal (Venstre) and Conservative parties have called for the government here to take the same step.

Denmark introduced entry testing rules for travellers in late December. The test requirements apply regardless of vaccination status.

“This is a nuisance for our businesses. And there is no longer any real reason for it, so these restrictions should be removed,” Liberal EU spokesperson Kim Valentin told Ritzau.

The testing rules, which were initially set to expire on January 17th, are now in place until January 31st.

Patient guarantee to be reinstated

A treatment guarantee for patients on the Danish health system, which was suspended on January 3rd due to concerns over strain on hospitals during the Covid-19 wave, will be reinstated.

The so-called behandlingsgaranti or treatment guarantee, provided by the national health system, gives patients the right to be treated within 30 days, if necessary by moving their treatments to a different hospital (including some private hospitals).

The guarantee will be reinstated on Friday January 21st, the Ministry of Health said in a statement yesterday.

“Even though we have high infection numbers, the number of hospital admissions (with Covid-19) has not increased by the same degree and we have seen a decline in intensive care patients. So it is a good thing that we can reintroduce the patient guarantee,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said in the statement.

Tax subsidy for hybrid vehicles in question

The three left-wing parties which prop up the government are in favour of changing a tax subsidy for plug-in hybrid cars, newspaper Information reports.

In a December 2020 agreement, the government set the target of 775,000 green cars in Denmark by 2030, of which 10 percent may be plug-in hybrids.

At the beginning of this year, 80,000 cars of that type were registered in Denmark, meaning the latter part of the target has been fulfilled.

The problem is that the hybrids are not fully emissions-free, so the incentive is counterintuitive because it is resulting in a too-high proportion of hybrid cars, critics have argued.

Danish soldiers deployed to Mali

A contingent of some 90 Danish soldiers arrived in Mali on Tuesday to join European special forces supporting the country’s anti-jihadist operations, Denmark’s military confirmed to news wire AFP.

The contingent, whose deployment was announced in April, is stationed in Menaka in eastern Mali. Its mandate runs until early 2023.

“The aim is to stabilise Mali and parts of the Liptako-Gourma tri-border area between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and to ensure the protection of civilians against terrorist groups,” the armed forces said in a statement.

Denmark has previously sent troops to participate in military interventions in Mali, some with the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping force and others with the French-led Operation Barkhane.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Murder at a luxury Copenhagen hotel, changes to laws on Ukrainian refugees, and new Covid surveillance strategies are among the top news stories in Denmark this Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Danish government wants to make Ukrainian refugee “start date” more flexible 

As the law currently stands, Ukrainians who happened to have left their home country — perhaps for vacation or business — just before war broke out could have trouble gaining residence in Denmark. 

The Danish government have announced plans to change the ‘cut-off date’ for when people must have left Ukraine to be considered war refugees from February 24th to February 1st. 

Parliament will consider the amendment to the current “Ukrainian law,” which grants two years’ residence to refugees who meet certain stipulations, including when they fled the country. 

READ ALSO: Denmark plans ‘Ukraine towns’ to accommodate war refugees 

Without widespread testing, how will Denmark predict next Covid wave? 

With Denmark’s once-wide network of public Covid test sites nearly gone, the State Serum Institute — Denmark’s infectious disease agency — is piloting a new program that it hopes will detect upticks in infections.

Ten thousand blood donors and the members of their households will be randomly chosen to participate in the “PCR Home Test Study,” the SSI says. Those who agree to participate will receive test kits from the government and will be asked to self-test once a week for a month, registering each sample in TestCenter Denmark’s app and sending it to the SSI for processing. 

If a new wave is detected, the SSI will consider recommending boosters for groups at high risk, director Henrik Ullum told Danish newswire Ritzau. 

If the program is successful, it could be deployed to monitor other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, Ullum added. 

READ ALSO: Which Covid self-tests should you buy (and avoid) in Denmark? 

Danish man pleads guilty to bow and arrow attack in Norway 

Espen Andersen Brathen the 38-year-old Danish man accused of using a bow and arrow outside a supermarket and stabbing five to death with a knife in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg last October, pleaded guilty to all charges yesterday. 

Although the attack was initially thought to be an act of terrorism, three experts who observed him assessed that Brathen was experiencing paranoid schizophrenia, newswire Agence France-Presse reports. Both the prosecution and defense agree that a psychiatric commitment, rather than a prison sentence, is appropriate. 

Murder at luxury Copenhagen hotel 

The NH Collection on Strandgade — home to the “Feel Safe at NH” campaign during the Covid pandemic — was the site of what authorities describe as a brutal murder on Sunday.  

A 28-year-old man suffered head injuries in a room in the NH Collection, where rooms start at 3000 kroner a night, and died of his injuries Monday evening. Police have one man, a 20-year-old, in custody for the crime and are seeking a 24-year-old Dutch citizen as an alleged accomplice. 

Authorities also suspect the 20-year-old currently in custody in another crime three hours after the incident on Strandgade — a gruesome knife attack at an “apartment hotel” in Silkegade. According to charges read at a preliminary hearing in court yesterday, the second victim was stabbed repeatedly, his cheek was ripped open, and an ear was cut off. 

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