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Denmark offers travelers ‘COVID-free’ passports if they get tested

Opponents of the measure worry that it will create an adversarial class system of the immune and the non-immune.
Fri Jul 10, 2020 - 5:53 pm EST
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COPENHAGEN, July 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Denmark is offering its citizens a passport declaring them free from the coronavirus.

Danes interested in carrying proof that they are COVID-free when they travel are invited to be tested for the virus. If they test negative, they can download a document saying so within seven days. Reserving the test, checking the results, and receiving the passport can be done over the “Coronaprover.dk”website.

This is believed to be the first “coronavirus passport” in Europe. So far, its purpose is solely to facilitate travel.

According to the U.K.’s Independent, Denmark’s health minister praised the measure.

“With the new Covid-19 passport, we now have a digital offering for Danes who need to be able to bring ... official documentation of a test on their journey,” said Magnus Heunicke.

The Independent also quoted Michael Svane, the chief executive of the Confederation of Danish Transport, saying the passport will help Danes who have to travel.

“We are in a time when, as a traveller, you encounter many obstacles. But the Covid-19 passport is easy to access and very easy to use,” he said.

The closest barrier to Danish travellers so far is their own closed border with Sweden. Danish travelers trying to enter their country from Sweden must show Danish authorities evidence that they are free from COVID-19.

Denmark is also not yet accepting flights from Portugal or the United Kingdom, which are still reporting high numbers of new cases relative to Denmark. Yesterday, Denmark reported only 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus, whereas Sweden reported 458, the U.K. 630, and Portugal 418.

As borders fall selectively across Europe, travelers entering the U.K. from healthy Denmark are no longer subject to a fourteen-day quarantine, whereas travelers entering the U.K. from Sweden, Portugal, and Russia will have to remain indoors for the full two-week stretch.

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Travelers from Canada and the USA will also have to remain quarantined for two weeks if they set foot in the U.K. 

Denmark was one of the later countries to relax its borders to international travel, cautiously opening to most other European countries only on June 27. Meanwhile, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported today that the five European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis to date are Russia (707,301 cases), the United Kingdom (287,621), Spain (253,056), Italy (242,363), and Germany (198,178).

Some pundits are worried that passports, including digital technology, that declare individuals free from COVID-19 or immune to the virus will be used to “jump-start” the economy. Even left-wing groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have cautioned against plans to introduce multi-purpose coronavirus “immunity passports.” In an article published last month, senior members of the ACLU argued that immunity passports could “harm public health, incentivize economically-vulnerable people to risk their health by contracting COVID-19, exacerbate racial and economic disparities, and lead to a new health surveillance infrastructure that endangers privacy rights.”

“An immunity passport system is fundamentally different from a regime whereby employers routinely test workers for COVID-19 or screen for symptoms, to ensure that no one with active infection is entering a workplace. In the latter system, only contagious workers are prevented from going to work and only for the period of time in which they are contagious,” the article continues.

“But an immunity passport system would divide workers into two classes — the immune and the non-immune — and the latter might never be eligible for a given job short of contracting and surviving COVID-19 if an immune worker is available to take the slot.”


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