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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 wild pony in Denmark's Mols Bjerge National Park on January 25th 2022.
A wild pony in Denmark's Mols Bjerge National Park on January 25th 2022. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Epidemic Commission suggests move towards Covid-19 recommendations instead of restrictions 

Following reports yesterday that Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is likely to announce that Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted at the end of this month, the Epidemic Commission, which advises the government on management of the pandemic, issued recommendations last night.

The Commission said it recommends the end of current Covid-19 restrictions on January 31st, but that entry test and isolation rules for travel to Denmark are extended. Travel rules should be based on the model used until rules were tightened in late December, the Commission said.

The Commission also stated that “the tools used to manage to epidemic will be to a greater extent more general recommendations and requests instead of rules and requirements”.

We’ll report any further announcements from health authorities and the government as they come in.

Delegation from Rwanda visits Copenhagen

Danish authorities are today hosting a delegation from Rwanda, which according to broadcaster DR’s report consists of a single representative from the African country.

The visit follows an agreement between the two countries last year to cooperate on asylum and migration questions and conduct political consultations related to development, DR writes.

Amnesty International last year condemned the Danish government after it struck the migration agreement with Rwanda, taking a possible first step towards sending asylum seekers to the latter country while their claims are processed.

Foreign ministry advises against travel to Ukraine

The Danish foreign ministry yesterday evening designated Ukraine “orange” in its country travel guidelines, meaning it advises against all non-essential travel.

The background for the decision is the tense situation between Ukraine and Russia. The Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions have been on the Danish travel advisory for some time due to armed conflict going back to 2014, but that has now been extended to the rest of the country.

Although the rest of the country is considered to be stable at the current time, that could change quickly according to the Foreign Ministry assessment.

Mink commission to publish report in June

The Mink Commission, an official inquiry into the government’s November 2020 decision to cull all mink at fur farms across the country and ban the industry, will publish its final report in June.

The Commission confirmed that schedule following a meeting at parliament on Tuesday, news wire Ritzau reports.

Leading politicians including Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen along with senior civil servants have been interviewed by the commission in a months-long inquiry. The order to cull minks, issued in response to concerns over a Covid-19 mutation in the animals, was found to be illegal shortly after it was enacted.

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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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