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LIVING IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in November 2021

Here's what changes in Denmark in November and how it could affect you.

A truck with Tuborg Julebryg and people wearing blue elf costumes in Copenhagen's Carlsberg district in 2014. The Christmas beer is traditionally launched on the first Friday in November.
A truck with Tuborg Julebryg and people wearing blue elf costumes in Copenhagen's Carlsberg district in 2014. The Christmas beer is traditionally launched on the first Friday in November. Photo: Linda Kastrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Municipal and regional elections

November 16th sees elections to municipal and regional governing bodies across the country. Many foreign residents are eligible to vote in the elections, for which postal voting has already begun.

We’ll be covering the elections over the next two weeks — look out for guides on how to vote and information on the parties and how their policies affect foreign residents in Denmark.

READ ALSO: How to vote by post as a foreign resident in Denmark’s local elections

Rapid Covid-19 testing returns 

Antigen testing for Covid-19, commonly referred to in Denmark as lyntest or rapid testing, returns from Saturday October 30th in high-incidence municipalities Glostrup, Albertslund, Brøndby and Ishøj and will be rolled out to the rest of the country in the following week.

The government made the decision to bring back rapid testing with a capacity of up to 100,000 tests per day in response to escalating coronavirus infection numbers in late October.

Rapid test centres were closed on October 9th, but a stand-by agreement was left in place with private contractors enabling the service to be reinstated at short notice.

The capacity for PCR testing will also be higher in November at 150,000 daily. In October it was 100,000 per day.

READ ALSO: How likely is the return of Covid-19 restrictions in Denmark?

Higher Covid-19 case numbers expected

It’s not a change anyone would hope for, but an increase in the incidence of Covid-19 cases in November need not come as a surprise, nor, indeed a cause for panic.

An expert group working under national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute estimates more cases of the virus as colder weather tightens its grip.

According to the expert group’s estimate, released on October 22nd, the daily infection number will be between 600 and 3,200 by the middle of November, with 25-110 new hospital admissions daily.

This does not mean the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 will increase by this amount daily, because the figure does not take into account discharges from hospital.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: How many infections are expected in Denmark in late autumn?

Fully vaccinated can travel to United States

Fully vaccinated travellers from Europe will be able to travel to the United States from November 8th if they undergo Covid-19 testing and contact tracing. 

US nationals living in Europe and their close family members were able to travel home across the Atlantic despite the outgoing ban, but the strict rules caused difficulty for many.

Brits in Denmark born after 1989 should apply for permanent residency 

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration has advised Brits living in Denmark who were born from 1990 onwards to send in their applications for post-Brexit permanent residency status during October.

The agency said in an open letter published in December that it wanted to stagger the applications to avoid a surge which would overwhelm its staff. However, the dates given were only a request and British residents who have applied ahead of the recommended time have had their applications handled as normal

You apply for residency at the New in Denmark page. 

Lower speed limits could take effect in some areas

If you have memorised local speed limits in your part of Denmark, it’s worth double checking they are still what you think they are.

The ministry of transport in September offered 15 municipalities the option of reducing some local speed limits to 40 kilometres per hour, rather than the regular 50 kilometres per hour.

Municipalities were asked to apply in September to the Danish Road Directorate for participation in the trial, with any approved changes coming into effect in November.

J-day: the unofficial start to the festive season

The first Friday of November is customarily a busy one for bars as Christmas beers or juleøl are launched, not least by brewing giant Tuborg, which releases its iconic julebryg (Christmas brew): hence the term J-dag, J-day.

The event normally results in packed bars with large numbers of patrons ordering the sweet tasting Christmas beer with its characteristic dark-blue-and-snowflake label, even though many Danes are likely to tell you they don’t actually like the taste.

Here’s our explainer of the popular annual tradition, from the archives in 2015.

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: Everything that changes about life in Denmark in May 2022

The tax return deadline, more public holidays and thousands of runners returning to the streets of Copenhagen are among the things to expect in Denmark in May.

KEY POINTS: Everything that changes about life in Denmark in May 2022

Deadline for making changes to tax returns 

If you haven’t yet done so, now’s the time to log on to tax website skat.dk and check your annual return or årsopgørelse.

Tax returns are published by tax authorities each March and taxpayers have until May 1st to check their details – relating to earnings, tax payments and deductions – are correct. In some cases, making sure you have the right information on your tax return can mean you get a tax rebate.

The tax authorities have in recent years asked taxpayers to pay particular attention to their commuter deduction or kørselsfradrag information, after the method for entering this on the return became more manual as home working increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. But all information can be checked and updated on the online return up to May 1st.

READ ALSO:

Switch to summer tyres (if you haven’t already)

Alternating between winter and summer tyres is not a legal requirement in Denmark, but is broadly recommended, including by FDM, the Danish membership organisation for motorists.

Neighbouring SwedenNorway and Germany – where many Danish residents head on skiing and other holidays during the colder months – all have rules requiring winter tyres, meanwhile, meaning the practice is common in Denmark, not least for those who may need to take their cars over the border.

Most people switch back to summer tyres at Easter, which this year fell on April 17th. But the week leading up to Easter was cold for the time of year with some frosts in the mornings, so some car owners may have held out a little longer.

More about the practice of using winter and summer tyres in Denmark can be found in this article.

Public holidays

Following on from Easter, we’re still in boom season for public holidays in Denmark.

Great Prayer Day or Store Bededag gives a long weekend starting Friday May 13th, while Ascension Day, Kristi Himmelfartsdag in Danish, is less than two weeks later on Thursday May 26th.

Many Danes take the Friday after Ascension Day as annual leave, giving them a four-day weekend at the cost of only one day of leave.

READ ALSO: What public holidays does Denmark have in 2022?

Look out for extension of border controls

Temporary border controls in place in Denmark since 2016 are currently scheduled to expire on May 11th but will be extended if past practice is basis for prediction.

First introduced in January 2016 in response to the European refugee crisis of late 2015, Denmark’s border controls have remained in place since through regular extensions. The checks generally consist of spot checks at border crossing.

EU countries which are part of the Schengen agreement, like Denmark, are permitted to introduce border controls if these are deemed necessary to protect internal security. The Danish government cited the treat of Islamist terrorism and organised crime in its justification for retaining the controls when they were most recently extended in October.

The controls can be extended for a maximum of six months. As such, they are still considered to be temporary even though they have now been in place for over six years.

Controls at borders undertaken as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are no longer in place, so all checks are security related.

Return of Copenhagen Marathon

After a three-year absence caused by consecutive cancellations due to Covid-19, the 41st edition of the Copenhagen Marathon takes place on May 15th.

The 42.2-kilometre route through the Danish capital starts and finishes by the harbour at Islands Brygge and takes in each of the central districts: Vesterbro, the Inner City, Østerbro, Frederiksberg and Nørrebro.

There’s usually a great energy along the route. I’d recommend either Nørrebrogade near Dronning Louises Bro (Bridge) or Islands Brygge as the best spots to take in the atmosphere.

New parking rules take effect

Municipal parking rules change on May 1st and it’s worth being aware of these to avoid an unwanted yellow ticket on your windscreen.

The new rules mean that municipalities can now issue fines for cars parked on areas that divide roads with bicycle lanes and pavements (sidewalks). This broadens existing rules against parking on pavements, either completely or partially.

Sometimes the ‘reservation’ or grassy or gravel area between a road and the cycle lane (or pavement) might be wide enough for a car, or part of one, and could be used for parking on. This is no longer permitted, motorists’ organisation FDM writes.

A ticket for breaching the new parking regulations will set you back 510 kroner.

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