Thousands gather for Black Lives Matter protests
While Denmark was quick to impose far-reaching measures on its citizens at the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is now one of the first European countries that has begun to relax these rules by slowly allowing public life to open up again. From 10th May 2020 onwards, gatherings no larger than 500 people were allowed again, a significant softening of the confinement measures compared to the initial ban on public gatherings of more than 10 persons. This more moderate limitation is set to be in place until 1st September 2020, effectively prohibiting all large events taking place during summer. As of 20th April 2020 small businesses such as hairdressers were also allowed to reopen and so were day-care centres and primary schools.
Black Lives Matter Protests
Several protests took place demanding racial justice, including in the Danish cities of Aarhus and Odense. On 7th June 2020 about 15, 000 people gathered in Copenhagen, drawing one of the largest crowds. All protests took place in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests, which started in the United States following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer on 25th May 2020. In Denmark, officials raised concerns about the spread of the coronavirus due to large protests taking place, with Denmark's ruling party calling on protesters to get tested for COVID-19.
Throughout the month of June 2020 Black Lives Matter Denmark held several other demonstrations, including flash mobs.
The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2020 World Press Freedom Index, which evaluates the situation for journalists each year in 180 countries, ranks Danish press freedom third in the world. That is two places higher than in 2019 when Denmark ranked fifth. However, RSF explains that this rise does not constitute a real improvement in freedom for Danish journalists but can mainly be attributed to increasing online harassment in other countries that are usually high in the ranking.