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PETITION

Petition calls on UK government to recognise vaccination certificates of Brits living in Denmark

An online petition launched to persuade the UK government to allow vaccinated Britons living abroad to visit families back home without having to quarantine is nearly halfway to its target of being considered for a debate in Parliament.

Petition calls on UK government to recognise vaccination certificates of Brits living in Denmark
Arrivals at London Heathrow Airport in 2020. Photo: Henry Nicholls/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The petition points out that millions of Britons living abroad still have to quarantine if they want to return home to visit family and friends, even if they have been vaccinated. This is despite British tourists getting the go-ahead to avoid quarantine on their return.

“Regardless of vaccination status, we face prohibitively lengthy and expensive hotel quarantine if we return home. Many of us have not seen family since before the pandemic and are being prevented from doing so by quarantine restrictions,” the petition read.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced last week that, from July 19th, Britons visiting amber list countries, such as Denmark, would no longer have to quarantine on arrival back in the UK, as long as they were fully vaccinated.

However the UK will only accept vaccines administered by the NHS.

The rules mean that UK nationals in Denmark who had their jabs in the UK can travel overseas and return without having to quarantine – but those who had their vaccines in Denmark will face a 10-day quarantine if they want to travel to the UK to visit friends and family, as well as paying around £160 for the compulsory testing on the second and eighth day of self-isolation.

The announcement sparked anger among UK nationals living abroad, many of whom have not seen family for 18 months as they cannot afford expensive travel testing packages as well as taking an extra 10 days off work to quarantine.

READ ALSO ‘I have to quarantine to see my dying dad’ – Brits in France furious over UK travel rules

More than 44,000 people have now signed the petition, prompting a response from the government. If it reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

The UK government said in its response: “Public health has always been our number one priority and we will not risk throwing away our hard-won achievements which have only been possible through the work of the British people.

“We recognise the impact that restrictions and this pandemic have had on many people. We have made enormous progress this past year in tackling the pandemic across Britain. That progress has been hard won and it is important that we do not risk undermining it now. Yet we are also a nation with ties across the globe.

“There are some instances where travellers might be able to get an exemption from needing to quarantine. These exemptions are exceptional and limited, and you will need evidence to support your request.

“Even if you’ve been vaccinated, you still have to follow the same testing and isolation requirements as non-vaccinated people when you return to the country, as per the traffic light system.”

You can sign the petition HERE.

Member comments

  1. I could not agree more with this. UK citizen that has been living in Denmark now for 4 years. Why on earth is the vaccine that was given on Danish soil not ‘as good as’ the one given on British soil? This is just another example of not being in the EU giving the UK the freedom to impose ridicolous rules that make no sense

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For members

COVID-19 VACCINES

Who is eligible for a fourth Covid vaccine dose in Denmark and when?

Public health officials in Denmark say a low turnout for the second round of Covid booster shots — for most people, their fourth jab — has made them concerned that many don’t realise they’re eligible.

Who is eligible for a fourth Covid vaccine dose in Denmark and when?

 Danish authorities have hardly clear on whether to offer fourth Covid jabs and to whom, since the beginning of 2022.

In January, the government announced that fourth shots would be given to the very elderly and other high risk populations— but that decision was reversed just four weeks later and the fourth Covid dose program was ended.

At a June 22nd press conference, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced plans for a more general booster program in the autumn and added that the ‘particularly vulnerable’ would be eligible for new doses the following week. 

When the Covid vaccination program began in early 2021, Denmark estimated the number of ‘selected patients with particularly increased risk’ that should be prioritised for vaccination at 240,000. But in the month since Frederiksen’s announcement, only about 3,500 people have come in for a fourth jab. Experts say that’s in no small part over confusion as to who is ‘particularly vulnerable.’

Indeed, the Danish Health Authority website doesn’t appear to currently provide a list of conditions that qualify for a second booster and instead refers readers to their primary care provider. That’s unfortunate since even general practitioners are finding it hard to determine who the rules say can get a fourth shot, Danish broadcaster DR reports.

The failure to resolve the issue is putting many patients at risk, some public health experts worry. “With the spread we are seeing with Covid at the moment, I think the Health Authority needs to be very clear about who should get the fourth prick now and who should wait,” Torben Mogensen, chairman of the Lung Association, told DR. 

READ ALSO: Danish health minister says further Covid-19 vaccinations could ward off restriction

What we know for sure 

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women are already eligible for fourth doses
  • People with suppressed immune systems are already eligible 
  • Approximately September 15: fourth doses begin for people in care homes and among ‘particularly vulnerable’ elderly people 
  • October 1st: fourth doses begin for everyone 50 years of age and and over 

Your primary care provider (the one on your yellow card) can refer you for a vaccination appointment, as can doctors at hospitals. 

What factors will your doctor consider? 

Guidelines provided to doctors by the Danish Health Authority ask them to weigh the patient’s age, risk of serious course of illness if infected, their presumed immunity status based on recent infection, and their overall risk of infection based on their living conditions (strangely, crowded living conditions and living in a sparsely populated area both suggest you may need a booster shot). 

…and now for the riddles

In lieu of a list of conditions that might qualify a patient for an early fourth shot, doctors have been offered a series of ‘example patients’ that are eligible for a booster  under the new rules. 

  • 45-year-old woman with reduced immune system due to haematological cancer
  • 74-year-old man with severe obesity and heart failure, who has had recurring lower respiratory tract infections for the past six months and declining functional level
  • 65-year-old woman with severe obesity and diabetes with serious co-morbidities, e.g foot ulcers or chronic kidney failure
  • 82-year-old woman with rapid onset of functional loss (e.g. failing memory, reduced mobility and need for help with personal care) and beginning signs of malnutrition (eats too little, does not gain weight)
  • 23-year-old with cystic fibrosis with frequent pneumonia and hospitalisations
  • 50-year-old male with bowel cancer who has recently completed chemotherapy
  • 85-year-old man who lives with his children and grandchildren in a small home
  • 65-year-old woman who has been operated on for breast cancer and has diabetes, and who needs to travel to an area with high infection
  • 39-year-old resident of a social psychiatric residence, with heavy tobacco consumption, occasional alcohol overconsumption, overweight and in treatment with many different drugs

READ ALSO: Danish hospitals see rise in number of Covid patients 

It’s worth a call or message 

With a particularly nasty flu season on the horizon, public health experts say it’s worth a call, email, or message to your primary care provider if you have any reason to suspect you might be eligible for vaccination. 

“We know that infection rates have been rising both in Denmark and in Europe in recent weeks, and a new variant is on its way in,” Aarhus University professor emeritus of infectious diseases told DR.  “Then comes autumn, when we know that a respiratory virus spreads more than it does in summer. So there’s every reason to get that fourth jab if you’re in the vulnerable groups and it’s been more than six months since you had your third.” 

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