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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest 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.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
The royal ship 'Dannebrog' at the harbour at Fredrikshavn on Wednesday. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Police report calm response to extended bar opening hours

Last night saw an easing of coronavirus restrictions come into effect, permitting bars and cafes to stay open until 2am. Closing time under the outgoing restrictions was midnight.

Police districts across the country said they have not noticed any initial change in the behaviour of drinking establishment patrons, according to broadcaster DR.

But Funen Police said they have been in contact with a number of bars who have decided to wait before making use of the new provision because they were unclear about whether the rules actually took effect from last night (Wednesday going into Thursday) or tonight.

Euros matches in Copenhagen did not cause Covid-19 spike, health authority says

Covid-19 infection data following Euro 2020 matches in Copenhagen show that large events can be hosted in a corona-safe manner, experts have said to DR following the publication of data related to the matches hosted at Parken stadium.

According to the Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed), 152 people were infected with coronavirus through attending the matches. As such, they are not classed as ‘super spreader’ events.

“This has shown that these matched were manageable. It’s shown that it was not irresponsible to host the matches at Parken,” Aarhus University virologist Søren Riis Paludan told DR.

All of Denmark’s three group stage matches took place in Copenhagen, as did the last-16 clash between Croatia and Spain.

Two arrested for throwing wood from bridge

Central and West Zealand police have arrested two young men who are suspected of throwing wood from a footbridge near the town of Ringsted, news wire Ritzau reports.

The men are suspected of throwing a piece of wood on to one of the town’s ring roads, causing a truck driver to brake sharply.

Such dangerous antisocial behaviour near busy roads has been reported relatively often in various parts of Denmark in recent years and has previously had fatal consequences.

READ ALSO: Danish police look for clues after latest motorway bridge attack

Queen Margrethe visits the Faroe Islands

The Queen is on an official visit to the Faroe Islands from today until Monday.

According to Her Majesty’s official schedule, the Danish monarch will be officially welcomed at Tórshavn today before visiting the Faroese parliament, Lagtinget. The Faroe Islands is a self-governed autonomous territory within the Danish kingdom.

READ ALSO: Goodbye Denmark? Faroese weigh pulling free of Danish grip

Queen Margrethe is also due to stop by a number of other towns and bygder (villages) on the Faroe Islands where she will be presented with elements of the local culture, environment and gastronomy.

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For members


Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

How Covid helped some Danes kick a cigarette habit, whether mistaken heat cheques need to be returned, and record-breaking energy prices are among the top news stories in Denmark on Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Mistaken heat cheques may need to be returned after all  

Perhaps don’t spend that 6,000 kroner windfall just yet — the minister of climate, energy, and supply wants to revisit whether people who received heating cheques by mistake should get to keep the money. 

The heating cheques are intended to support households heated by gas as prices soar, but the government used an online database that relies on self-reported information from homeowners to determine who was eligible. That meant some households that have since switched from gas to another heat source, or have even moved to a different residence altogether, received the cheques in error. 

Minister Dan Jørgensen told TV Avisen he’s asking the parties that supported the original legislation behind the heat cheques to discuss ways of recovering the misspent money. The legislation explicitly said that heat cheques sent in error not only should not be returned, but must not be paid back. 

The system’s goal was to get the money in the accounts of people who need it  as quickly as possible without the delay and added expense of an application process, which could also exclude the most vulnerable, broadcaster DR reports

Electricity price on Wednesday broke Danish record

At about 7 pm Wednesday evening, the price of a kilowatt-hour of energy reached 8.42 kroner, the highest figure recorded in the last 12 years according to TV2. 

Daily and weekly averages are also at record levels, Carsten Smidt, director of the Danish Supply Authority, told DR. According to Nord Pool, the electricity market that covers Nordic countries, prices are three times as high as the same period last year. 

“If prices remain at the current level, an ordinary average family with a variable contract will pay 15,000 kroner more this year than last year for their electricity bill,” economist Brian Friis Helmer of Arbejdernes Landsbank told DR. 

READ MORE: Denmark’s energy agency to look at possible saving measures 

Large fire on Amager extinguished

A Wednesday night fire in a pizzeria on Amagerbrogade, the main high street in Amager south of Copenhagen, spread to first floor apartments before it was extinguished, according to authorities. 

The cause of the fire remains undetermined, but no injuries have been reported. 

A kick in the (cigarette) butt: Danish cigarette smokers quit more often, smoked less during pandemic 

According to new research from the University of Copenhagen, more Danish cigarette smokers kicked the habit or reduced their dependence during the height of the pandemic in 2020. 

Smokers bought 20 percent fewer cigarettes on a weekly basis in 2020 than before lockdowns began, and the number of people who quit cigarettes altogether increased 10 percent relative to the year before. 

“We can learn from it that smokers actually react to it when they can see the consequences [of smoking] more clearly right now and here,” University of Copenhagen associate professor Toke Reinholt Fosgaard told newswire Ritzau. 

“You can use prices and make it more expensive to smoke, but you can also try to shift information and awareness around the consequences so that it feels closer,” he added. 

It’s unclear whether the people who quit or reduced their consumption of cigarettes during the pandemic were able to keep it up after 2020, though researchers say they’re hopeful data from 2021 will show a lasting change.

READ MORE: Denmark considers permanent ban on cigarette sales for people born after 2010