Denmark considers reducing Covid-19 health pass vaccine validity

The Danish Health Ministry wants to shorten the period for which vaccination and previous infection provide a valid coronapas, Denmark’s Covid-19 health pass.

Denmark could reduce the validity of the coronapas to five months following vaccination or recovery from Covid-19.
Denmark could reduce the validity of the coronapas to five months following vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. Photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The proposed tightening of the rules was recommended by Danish Health Authority and the government has asked its independent advisory board for management of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Epidemic Commission, to address the question and make a recommendation, Danish media reported on Wednesday.

A valid coronapas is currently required at bars, restaurants, cafes and several other customer-facing businesses in the service sector. It must also be presented on intercity trains and regional buses, at universities, language schools and other further education, at state workplaces and at gyms and places of worship.

READ ALSO: The Covid-19 restrictions now in effect in Denmark

Under current rules, a coronapas is valid for seven months after a person is fully vaccinated or has received a booster jab.

Recovery from Covid-19, giving conferred immunity, gives a valid coronapas for six months.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed to broadcaster TV2 that the validity of the health pass would be reduced to five months in both cases.

Should the Epidemic Commission recommend the change in rules, the government would then need approval from parliament’s Epidemic Committee, on which members of all other parliamentary parties sit.

The Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party, a centre-left ally of the government, said it was ready to support the move.

“It turns out that the vaccines offer protection for a shorter amount of time. It’s therefore important that the coronapas fits with the protection there is so that people will get revaccinated and reduce transmission (of Covid-19),” Social Liberal health spokesperson Christina Thorholm told news wire Ritzau.

The party said it would await medical advice from health authorities before deciding on the exact changes to any rules.

The Liberal party, the main group in opposition said it would discuss the matter internally before taking a stance.

READ ALSO: Denmark sets latest Covid-19 cases record amid high testing

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Denmark’s autumn Covid-19 strategy to be presented ‘before summer’

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Monday that the government will soon present a strategy for managing Covid-19 should the virus resurge in Denmark next autumn and winter.

Denmark’s autumn Covid-19 strategy to be presented 'before summer'

Although everyday life in Denmark is now free of any signs of Covid-19 restrictions, a plan will be put in place to manage a potential increase in cases of the virus once colder months return, Frederiksen said during remarks in parliament.

During a speech given as part of the parliament’s closing session before its summer break, Frederiksen noted that the coronavirus still persists in other countries and that Denmark must therefore have its own plan in place for future management of outbreaks.

“The government will therefore, before the summer (holiday), present a strategy for ongoing Covid management. We will discuss it with the other parties in parliament,” she said.

Frederiksen also said that Denmark was among the countries to have coped best with the pandemic.

“We are one of the countries that have had the lowest excess deaths. And one of the countries that has emerged best from the crisis economically. That is thanks to the efforts of each individual citizen in the country,” she said.

A new wave of Covid-19 cases later this year can be expected, according to a Danish medical expert.

“As things look now, we can reasonably hope that the thoroughly vaccinated population will be well protected against serious cases and that we will therefore see few hospitalisations,” Henrik Nielsen, senior medical consultant at Aalborg University’s infectious disease department, told news wire Ritzau.

“But the number of infections could very easily be high in the autumn and winter with a respiratory virus that gives a few days’ sickness. We expected serious cases to be limited in number,” he said.