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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

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

letters on the wall at a Danish kindergarten
Political parties in Denmark have called for measures to help parents when childcare institutions temporarily close due to Covid-19-related staff shortages. Photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Party calls for help for parents affected by childcare closures 

The Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party want talk with the government on measures to help parents who face difficulties due to Covid-19-enforced closures of childcare facilities such as kindergartens.

Childcare staff are among those most affected by high Covid-19 incidence, resulting in high staff absence due to isolation rules and thereby potential temporary closures.

The Social Liberals want talks with labour market representatives to find a solution for the problem, spokesperson for children and education Lotte Rod said to news wire Ritzau.

“Parents are currently in trouble. They can’t keep taking days off work when they can’t send their children to childcare. So the government must step up and find a solution,” she said.

Enough parties back action over the issue to form a parliamentary majority without the government, according to Rod.

Greenland ends Covid-19 restrictions

The Greenlandic government Naalakkersuisut yesterday announced the end of al Covid-19 restrictions in the Arctic territory, effective from today.

That means people in Greenland can now go to stores, museums and gyms without wearing a face mask, as was the requirement under the now-lifted restrictions.

Limits on capacity at indoor venues are also lifted.

The Covid-19 epidemic has peaked in Greenland’s towns and the virus is now so widespread as to render restrictions superfluous, Greenlandic media KNR reports according to Ritzau.

Prisons in Kosovo must be renovated before use by Denmark

The Ministry of Justice in December announced plans to rent prison cells in Kosovo for 300 inmates due to be expelled at the end of their sentences.

Renovation work including removal of mould and repair of office areas is needed at the prison Danish authorities plan to use, Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup said in a parliamentary document according to Ritzau.

Hækkerup listed “kitchen and toilet conditions, establishment of work, leisure and visiting facilities, office space for Danish staff, supplies, improvements to reduce mould, ventilation, IT infrastructure and various security related matters” among areas which must be looked at before Danish authorities use the prison.

The convicts from Danish must serve their sentences in accordance with Danish standards as part of the deal between the two countries.

Health authority issues advice to doctors over chemical pollution

The Danish Health Authority has issued guidelines to doctors for answering questions from patients concerned about pollution with PFAS chemicals.

The chemicals, which can represent a health risk to humans if ingested via cattle, gardens with edible plants, leisure fishing or bathing in contaminated areas, have been found in dozens of locations in Denmark in recent months and environmental authorities are testing locations for potential risks to nearby residents.

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“Many members of the public are concerned about whether they have been exposed to harmful substances from nearby fire service training centres and are unsure what action to take,” head of department from the Danish Health Authority Niels Sandø said in a press statement, referring to one of the uses of the chemical in fire extinguisher foam.

The patient guidance includes information on how to advise pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as children.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A new military hub for Nato on Danish shores, a filmmaker representing Denmark at Cannes, and a slightly cooler weekend are among the top news stories in Denmark this Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

‘Military hub’ for US, Nato forces coming to Denmark 

The port city of Esbjerg, which also played host to this week’s green energy meetings, has been flagged as the site of a new mustering point for Nato and especially United States military forces, according to a press release from the Danish Ministry of Defense. 

The United States expressed interest in Esbjerg, on Jutland’s west coast, in particular as a jumping-off point to transport troops and technology to the Baltic Sea area. 

“The Port of Esbjerg has a good location and size, proximity to the airport, good connections to the railway and motorway network and is close to several large barracks,” the press release said. 

The Danish government plans to make a number of costly improvements to the port to better support the new military hub. Those are expected to be completed by the end of 2023, the release said. 

READ ALSO: Denmark prepared to send 800 troops to Baltic states

Iranian living in Copenhagen shines at Cannes Film Festival

Danish-Iranian Ali Abassi, 40, is making waves at the Cannes Film Festival with his new film “Holy Spider,” the “gritty story of a serial killer ‘cleansing’ the Iranian holy city of Mashhad,” newswire Agence France-Presse reports. 

Abassi grew up in Iran and immigrated to Scandinavia to study architecture in Stockholm at the age of 21, ultimately settling in Copenhagen after attending the National Film School of Denmark. 

In 2018, Abassi brought home the trophy for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section with “Border,” which AFP describes as an “eccentric troll-fantasy film about a border guard.” 

Cooler weather ahead 

After two balmy days, Denmark can expect a cooler and cloudier weekend, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute. 

“The beautiful weather has almost disappeared like dew to the sun,” meteorologist Klaus Larsen told newswire Ritzau with a little poetic flair. 

We can look forward (or not) to a Saturday with minimal sunshine, “fresh” winds, occasional showers, and temperatures between 14-18 degrees. 

Sunday is your best chance for outdoor fun, Larsen says. “It will stay mostly dry with little or no sun and winds that will decrease and become light to steady during the day.” 

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