Denmark launches new corona passport: Here’s what you need to know about ‘Coronapas’ app

Denmark’s new app for coronavirus passports, Coronapas, can be downloaded from App Store and Google Play as of Friday.

Denmark launches new corona passport: Here’s what you need to know about 'Coronapas' app
Denmark's new corona passport app was launched on Friday. Photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The app was developed by private company Netcompany on behalf of the Ministry of Health’s data agency and the Agency for Digitisation after parliament’s decision in February to broadly use corona passports as part of the national plan to lift lockdown.

Ethics and cyber security advisors have also been involved in the app’s development, broadcaster DR reports.

Although the pre-existing MinSundhed app has been used as a platform for corona passports since March, the new dedicated app will supersede it amongst users in Denmark, the government hopes.

Unlike the old app, Coronapas gives access to a page which shows a QR code with a green banner if the passport is valid.

The requirements for a valid corona passport — full vaccination or two weeks since first dose; a negative test taken within the last 72 hours; or recent recovery from Covid-19 — are unchanged.

The rules for when it must be shown, for example when eating inside at a restaurant, using a gym or when spot checked at a library — also remain the same.

READ ALSO: When will Denmark stop requiring corona passports and face masks?

Unlike the MinSundhed app, the new app tells the user their vaccination, infection and test history but only show others whether or not the corona passport is valid – and not the reason for its validity.

It also removes the need for the reader to calculate whether a corona passport is still valid, for example by looking at the time and date of a recent test. The QR code page will automatically display in green if the passport is valid.

The new app is also designed to be compatible with foreign travel where and when corona passports are a requirement for this.

By switching to ‘foreign travel’ mode, the app automatically applies the EU criteria for it to be valid for travel on the continent. This can be different from the criteria used in Denmark.

The app is compatible with European standards and can communicate with readers and technology developed for the same purpose in other EU countries, according to pilot project testing.

“With the corona passport, the door will soon again be open to all countries in Europe where the pandemic is under control because, from June 1st, it will be possible to use the new corona passport to travel withing the EU,” finance minister Nicolai Wammen told DR.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

In order to download and use the app, you must have a NemID, the secure digital system used to log on to online services in Denmark.

Corona passports are valid 14 days after receiving the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination or when fully vaccinated; for 72 hours after a negative rapid or PCR test for the virus; and for up to 8 months after infection with and recovery from Covid-19.

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IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?

The number of new Covid-19 infections fell on Saturday for the second day in a row, following a three-day plateau at the start of last week. Has the omicron wave peaked?

IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?
Graffiti in the Copenhagen hippy enclave of Christiania complaining of Omicron's impact on Christmas. Photo: Philip Davali/Scanpix

How many cases, hospitalisations and deaths are there in Denmark? 

Denmark registered 12,588 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, down from the 18,261 registered on in the day leading up to Friday at 2pm, which was itself a decline from the record 28,283 cases recorded on Wednesday. 

The cases were identified by a total of 174,517 PCR tests, bringing the positive percentage to 7.21 percent, down from the sky high rates of close to 12 percent seen in the first few days of January. 

The number of cases over the past seven days is lower than the week before in almost every municipality in Denmark, with only Vallensbæk, Aarhus, Holseterbro, Skanderborg, Hjørring, Vordingborg,  Ringkøbing, Kolding, Assens, Horsens, Thisted, and Langeland reporting rises. 

Hospitalisations have also started to fall, with some 730 patients being treated for Covid-10 on Saturday, down from 755 on Friday. On Tuesday, 794 were being treated for Covid-19 in Danish hospitals, the highest number since the peak of the 2020-21 winter wave.

The only marker which has not yet started to fall is the number of deaths, which tends to trail infections and hospitalisations. 

In the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, Denmark registered 28 deaths with Covid-19, the highest daily number recorded since 20 January 2021, when 29 people died with Covid-19 (although Denmark’s deadliest day was the 19 January 2021, when 39 people died). 

How does Denmark compare to other countries in Europe? 

Over the last seven days, Denmark has had the highest Covid-19 case rate of any country in Europe bar Ireland. The number of new infections in the country has climbed steadily since the start of December, apart from a brief fall over Christmas. 

So does this mean the omicron wave has peaked? 

Maybe, although experts are not sure. 

“Of course, you can hope for that, but I’m not sure that is the case,” said Christian Wejse, head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital. “I think it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has peaked.”

He said that patients with the Omicron variant were being discharged more rapidly on average than had been the case with those who had the more dangerous Delta variant. 

“Many admissions are relatively short-lived, thankfully. This is because many do not become that il, and are largely hospitalized because they are suffering with something else. And if they are stable and do not need oxygen, then they are quickly discharged again.” 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to an event held by the Social Liberal party that the latest numbers made her even more optimistic about the coming month. 

“We have lower infection numbers and the number of hospitalisations is also plateauing,” she said. “I think we’re going to get through this winter pretty well, even if it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we are beginning to see the spring ahead of us, so I’m actually very optimistic.” 

She said that she had been encouraged by the fact that Omicron was a “visibly less dangerous variant if it is not allowed to explode.”