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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

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

More cold and wet weather is forecast in Denmark on Friday. Photo Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Busy travel day prior to Easter holiday 

Today is the last day before the school Easter break with many also taking time off from work next week prior to the Easter public holidays.

Heavy traffic and high passenger numbers are expected on roads and rail services, while Copenhagen Airport said it expects queuing at check and security for those heading abroad. The Molslinjen ferry between Zealand and Jutland has also confirmed a higher number of bookings than usual.

Those travelling across the country should check traffic updates before setting out.

Medical report warns of worsened conditions for Danish children at Syrian prison camps

Malnutrition and physical and mental health problems are becoming increasingly serious for five children with Danish nationality still stranded at the al-Roj prison camp in Kurdish-controlled Syria, which is used to accommodate former Isis militants and their sympathisers or families.

That is according to a medical assessment of the children conducted in the camp and sent to their families in Denmark, which broadcaster DR has seen and reported.

A doctor and child psychiatrist have raised particularly serious concerns over two of the children, according to the report.

A number of Danish children were last year evacuated from the camp, but the five who are still there remained because their mothers were stripped of their Danish citizenships and therefore did not meet the government’s criteria for evacuation.

READ ALSO: Denmark evacuates women and children from Syria: What happens next?

Restaurants in plea for new staff amid shortage

Kitchen and serving staff are in extremely short supply at restaurants on the island of Funen, DR writes.

Several restaurants and catering firms have said they are short-staffed, as has industry interest organisation Horesta.

“If you can use a knife, you can get a job anywhere on Funen. We need chefs and waiters everywhere,” the organisation’s director Tom Pelle Jensen, who is also director of Hotel Svendborg, said to DR.

Covid-19: 2,747 new cases on Thursday

Official data shows that 2,747 new cases of Covid-19 were registered on Thursday.

The number is lower than the previous day’s total of 3,214. The positive cases were found among 18,838 PCR tests, giving a test positivity rate of just under 14.5 percent, a shade lower than that on Wednesday.

Generally, testing levels are now a fraction of those seen earlier in the pandemic.

989 people with Covid-19 are currently admitted to hospitals in Denmark. This total is on a downward trend, having reached over 1,500 in early March.

A large proportion of the patients are not receiving treatment for the coronavirus and are in hospital for other reasons.

18 people with Covid-19 are currently in ICU care and 9 are receiving ventilator treatment.

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For members


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.”