Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Denmark, the first EU country to abandon almost all Covid-19 restrictions, is ready to reset its coronavirus passport and re-identify the virus as a ‘critical threat to society’, in a sign of growing concern about the revival of the pandemic in Europe.

The country’s parliament will agree on Tuesday night to support proposals by the center-left government and health authorities in Copenhagen to use the passes in nightclubs, cafes, indoor restaurants and events involving a large number of spectators.

Denmark announced at the end of August that it had the pandemic “under control” and would abandon all restrictions from 10 September after being one of the first European countries to respond to the developing pandemic in March last year when it closed its borders.

But as cases increase in the Nordic country, as in much of Europe, it is tracing back and putting pressure on the unvaccinated to be vaccinated, even though vaccine rates are much higher than in many countries in the east of the continent.

“It cannot be said clearly enough: those of you who have not been vaccinated do so. . . The government is on the side of the 90 percent or so who do what one has to do. The others must not destroy it for the rest, “Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Monday.

More people are currently being hospitalized in Denmark than a year ago despite the introduction of vaccines.

By reclassifying Covid as a threat to society, the government can reintroduce the severe restrictions it imposed in 2020, such as the closure of schools and the need to wear masks in public.

Danish health experts say the move was a reaction to the recent revival in cases: “The government said in August that it would act if the infection rates rose. The move to downgrade Covid-19 was therefore never communicated as an irreversible thing. not, ”said Soren Riis Paludan, professor of biomedicine at Aarhus University.

He added: “The fact that things are going on is seen by many as evidence for the argument that unvaccinated people have extra responsibility to keep Covid-19 in circulation. Therefore, the reinstatement of the Covid Pass can also serve the purpose. serves to force more people to be vaccinated. ”

Denmark was the first country to institute the widespread use of a corona passport to enter restaurants, cafes, and other establishments. At their peak in April and May, about 10 percent of the country’s population tested themselves daily to obtain a corona passport and visit hairdressers and museums.

But just as passports have begun in other EU countries in recent months, Denmark has abandoned its use amid pressure from right-wing parties to return to normal and abandon business restrictions.

Political commentators said there appeared to be a clear majority in parliament to support the government’s plans, but it was not clear whether MPs would agree to the introduction of corona passes for a period of four months as Frederiksen wanted or a shorter time frame.

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