When is it legal to walk on frozen lakes in Denmark?

Police across Denmark intervened in several instances over the weekend as members of the public endangered themselves by walking on to frozen lakes.

When is it legal to walk on frozen lakes in Denmark?
Copenhagen on February 5th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Lakes, fjords and other waterways in Denmark should be considered off-limits for walking or skating unless signs clearly mark that it is safe to do so. That is not the case in many places, despite the current sub-zero weather.

In Copenhagen, 18 people were charged last weekend after breaching rules to walk on frozen lakes, police said.

“I hope what was communicated today has helped so that residents in Copenhagen have had their eyes opened to that fact (walking on frozen lakes) can be dangerous,” Paw Kaltoft of Copenhagen Police told news wire Ritzau.

“I don’t know of anyone in Copenhagen who has fallen through the ice. But it has happened in other places,” he said on Saturday evening.

That includes three people who fell through ice on the island of Mors in North Jutland, and an incident on Zealand which required a helicopter rescue, the news agency reports.

News broadcaster TV2 reported that police had charged individuals with trespassing on the ice.

According to Danish law, individual municipalities decide when ice is thick enough for the public to be allowed to walk on it.

Although rules can therefore vary locally, the ice must generally be at least 13 centimetres thick. In Aarhus, the ice layer must be 16 centimetres, according to Ritzau.

READ ALSO: Arctic sea ice melting faster than forecast, Copenhagen researchers find

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Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

Temperatures are set to rise dramatically across Italy this weekend as the country prepares for its first real heatwave of the year, meteorologists said on Friday.

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

People across Italy are preparing to head to the beach this weekend with unseasonably hot weather predicted to last for several days.

The heatwave is caused by an anticyclone named  ‘Hannibal’ sweeping in from Tunisia and Algeria, bringing hot air currents across the Mediterranean and as far north as Denmark and Poland, reports news agency Ansa.

Temperatures are forecast to rise above 32-33°C in parts of the Italian north including Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Emilia Romagna, before the heatwave expands towards the centre and south of the country over the course of the weekend.

The weather is already 8°C above the seasonal average for this time of year, according to Antonio Sanò, founder of the Italian weather site, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

READ ALSO: From Venice to Mont Blanc, how is the climate crisis affecting Italy?

In a typical year these kinds of highs wouldn’t be seen until July, Sanò said.

The incoming heatwave will be particularly humid as the anticyclone is carrying moisture from the Mediterranean sea, according to IlMeteo.

However, the relative cool of the Mediterranean basin at this time of year will contain the heat and keep the temperatures from rising into the high 30s, as would happen if the same type of weather event occurred in August.

READ ALSO: Nine in 10 Italians ‘want more action on climate crisis’, new study finds

The heatwave will stretch over the weekend and continue into next week, peaking on Tuesday, according to weather reports.

Patchy thunderstorms typical of midsummer weather are anticipated in the Alps and the Po Valley, while the centre-south is set to experience hot and sunny conditions bar some isolated storms in the mountains of Abruzzo on Sunday.