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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

The health minister briefing colleagues on monkeypox, the return of music festivals and holiday traffic are among the news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

canals in copenhagen
Denmark has a public holiday on Thursday, meaning a four-day weekend for many in the country. Photo by Ava Coploff on Unsplash

Health minister to brief MPs over monkeypox situation 

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke will brief the health spokespersons from other political parties today after two cases of monkey pox were detected in Denmark earlier this week.

Health authorities said yesterday they would offer a vaccination to close contacts of people who contract monkeypox.

But authorities are stressing there is no cause for public concern over the virus, which is not highly transmissible and causes mild disease.

“As things are now, no infections have happened in Denmark. In other words, it’s travelling Danes who have brought the virus home with them. But our authorities are fully engaged with contact tracing,” Heunicke told broadcaster TV2 yesterday.

READ ALSO: Denmark to offer vaccination to close contacts of monkeypox cases

Expect extra traffic during Ascension holiday

Tomorrow is Ascension Day and that means a public holiday in Denmark. While Friday is a regular working day, many decide to use annual leave or take that day off too to give themselves an extended weekend.

Motorists can expect congestion and queuing in some areas beginning today, the Danish Roads Agency (Vejdirektoratet) said on its website.

The heavy traffic is expected to begin as early as this afternoon between 12pm and 4pm.

More traffic is likely when holidayers return home on Sunday, again between 12pm and 4pm according to the roads agency.

Areas like the west coast of Jutland and northern Zealand, where many summer houses are located, can expect a lot of comings and goings.

Festival season returns after two-year absence

Major Danish music festivals such as NorthSide in Aarhus, Smukfest in Skanderborg and not least the Roskilde Festival all return at full capacity this year after two years of cancellations and restricted events.

The first of the summer festivals, the Jelling Festival, starts today. Danish acts Minds of 99 and Lord Siva are among those on the programme.

Jelling takes place over the next four days and 35,000 people are expected to attend.

Danish Jehovah’s Witness released after five years in Russian jail

Dennis Christensen, a Danish Jehovah’s Witness, was released from Russian jail on Tuesday and will have to leave the country, the US-based Christian evangelical movement said.

In the first such conviction since Russia outlawed the religious movement in 2017, Christensen was sentenced to six years in prison in 2019. Earlier reports in 2020 suggested Russian authorities had decided to release him.

His case has drawn worldwide condemnation.

“Dennis Christensen has been released from prison. For his faith, he spent a total of five years behind bars,” the movement said in a statement Tuesday according to news wire AFP.

Christensen must leave Russia overnight on the night of May 24th-25th, the statement said.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Everything you need to know about the Tour de France and the release of the inquiry into the 2020 mink scandal are Denmark's headline news this Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Tour de Denm—uh, France 

It’s an overcast day in Copenhagen for the Grand Départ, the official kickoff of the Tour de France, at 4 p.m. Don’t be fooled when the clouds briefly part midmorning — they’ll be back with a vengeance later this afternoon with the potential to drizzle on late finishers of the time trial (including frontrunner Tadej Podegar, who’s expected to finish about 7:10 p.m.). The Danish Meteorological Institute has put out a warning  for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms for the Copenhagen area from 6-11 p.m. 

A poncho would be in order if you’re planning to watch the riders in person today, and make contingency plans for any outdoor celebrations. 

READ ALSO: Five great spots to see the Tour de France in Denmark 

How to watch the trials 

Danish streaming platform TV2 will host coverage of the Tour, as will Discovery+ in Denmark. 

If you’re watching abroad, the United States offers a selection of streaming services — the USA channel will provide live coverage, through NBC, you’ve got Peacock (their proprietary streaming platform), NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app. 

In the UK, ITV4 and the ITV Hub streaming service are free to watch. 

How to get around in Copenhagen today 

Between street closures, sporadically-open pedestrian crossings, and throngs of fans, trying to get from point A to point B in downtown Copenhagen will be a challenge today. 

The Tour de France team has provided an interactive map (here’s the English version) to help you navigate, including information on those pedestrian crossings of the route, public toilets, and hydration stations (though with the rain, that might be redundant). 

READ ALSO: How will the Tour de France affect traffic and travel in Denmark? 

….and a harsh mink report for Mette Frederiksen 

If all this cycling news leaves you asking, ‘but what about the mink?’, you’ll be thrilled to learn the independent commission tasked with investigating government decisions surrounding the 2020 culling of millions of the weasel-like animals has released its final report. It’s a monster at almost 2,000 pages. 

The commission finds fault with prime minister Mette Frederiksen, who, they say, made “grossly misleading” statements about the legal basis of the mink cull at a November 2020 press conference. 

The report says 10 officials, largely department heads from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Environment and Food, the National Police, and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, should be held accountable. 

On the hot seat are Barbara Bertelsen, head of the prime minister’s department, and Mogens Jensen, former minister of food, agriculture, and fisheries.

The decision to cull the mink fell under Jensen’s purview and the commission found Jensen was aware the government had no legal authority and lied to parliament about it. Jensen resigned just two weeks after the decision was made. 

READ ALSO: Danish PM ‘grossly misled’ during mink announcement 

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