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Denmark launches COVID-19 passport ‘Coronapas’

Denmark has become one of the first in Europe to launch a COVID-19 pass scheme to help non-essential businesses reopen.

This follows news earlier this year that Denmark’s acting finance minister Morten Bødskov together with Lars Sandahl Sørensen, the CEO of Danish Industry and Brian Mikkelsen, the CEO of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, confirmed that a coronavirus passport was in the pipeline.

Hosted on the Danish, digitalhealth portal, sundhed.dk, the Coronapas passport is available via an app or in paper format to people who have been vaccinated or have tested positive for the virus two to twelve weeks previously or negative over the last 72 hours.

The website states that if you have been tested negative for COVID-19 and your test results is not older than seven days you can view and download your Coronapas for a COVID-19 test.

sundhed.dk also advises that some countries have different rules and recommends that the traveller informs themselves on the applicable rules on the country in question via the Danish embassy website. 

WHY IT MATTERS

The passport currently allows citizens to access certain non-essential businesses including, hairdressers, beauty salons and driving schools.

With the end goal of reopening the economy by 21 May, Denmark’s government estimates it will have vaccinated the majority of people over the age of 50 by then.

The Scandinavian country aims to expand the passport usage to include terraces, which are due to open on 21 April, and eventually to museums, theatres, restaurants and cinemas from 6 May.

“The launch created a major pressure on the portal and app – more than one million citizens visited sundhed.dk on the opening day. This is 600% more traffic than before COVID-19. Luckily, Sundhed.dk passed the test without any major problems.”

 — Claus Duedal Pedersen, director of the sentinel unit, sundhed.dk

THE LARGER CONTEXT

The European Commission is currently working on the ‘Digital Green Certificate’ as European leaders have called for an EU-wide vaccine passport as a ‘matter of urgency’.

In another world first move, Denmark became one of the only countries to permanently stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine following concerns about rare cases of blood clots.

Earlier this week, the UK moved towards the next stage of the lockdown roadmap to ease restrictions, as ONS data shows the number of deaths in England and Wales before Easter was at the lowest level in six months.

However, the recent news of the South Africa variant outbreak in South London may cause delays in the roadmap going to plan.  

In a letter to the UK prime minister, hospitality firms have expressed opposition to coronavirus status certification being used for their businesses.

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