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COVID-19

Danish health authority director urges country to bring back coronapas

The director of the Danish Health Authority Søren Brostrøm has called for politicians to reintroduce requirements for the country's Covid-19 health pass, the coronapas.

The director of the Danish Health Authority, Søren Brostrøm, who has added weight to calls for the country to reinstate its Covid-19 health pass amid surging infections.
The director of the Danish Health Authority, Søren Brostrøm, who has added weight to calls for the country to reinstate its Covid-19 health pass amid surging infections. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

In comments to broadcaster TV2, Brostrøm asked parliament to support a move to bring back requirements to use the health pass to access certain services and locations in Denmark.

“My recommendation goes to politicians and parliament because these are political decisions,” Brostrøm told TV2.

“Medically, I see it as a good option at cafes, restaurants, concerts and in nightlife. It would be a good idea at this time,” Brostrøm said.

The director of the national health authority also said he was concerned about the robustness of the health system given the current surge of infections in Denmark.

Previous requirements for use of a valid coronapas were lifted on September 1st, but with Covid-19 infection numbers currently soaring in Denmark, experts have already called for the health pass to be brought back into use to stem infection spread.

Brostrøm added weight to these calls by asking politicians to reintroduce the coronapas.

The ‘corona passport’ certifies that the holder has had a negative test in the last 72 hours, a vaccination or has recently recovered from Covid-19, conferring immunity to the disease.

Because of a change in the classification of Covid-19, the government must now have parliamentary backing to introduce most restrictions against the coronavirus, including coronapas requirements.

Specifically, this means support in parliament’s epidemic committee for upgrading the classification of Covid-19 to a “critical threat to society”, as was the case until September this year.

Parliament could also vote through restrictions on an individual basis.

READ ALSO: How likely is the return of Covid-19 restrictions in Denmark?

The Conservative Party on Friday said it does not favour bringing back the documentation for accessing places like restaurants and bars.

“Test capacity has already been increased a lot so infected people can be identified and isolated. Those measured should be given a chance to work before we start speaking about the coronapas,” the party’s health spokesperson Per Larsen said.

Another right wing party, the Danish People’s Party, earlier confirmed its opposition to reinstating coronapas rules while the left wing Socialist People’s Party (SF) said it agrees with Brostrøm.

“I think it’s a good idea to reintroduce the coronapas because infections are increasing dramatically in Danish society. It is one of the most interventionist methods we can put into effect to ensure people are vaccinated or tested,” the party’s leader Pia Olsen Dyhr said.

“We need that if we are to get infections under control again,” she added.

Thursday’s total of 2,598 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 was the highest in Denmark so far in 2021.

A total of 246 people were currently hospitalised with Covid-19 in Denmark on Thursday, almost three times the 86 who were admitted with the virus one month ago.

READ ALSO: Denmark records highest number of daily Covid-19 infections this year

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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