Denmark decommissions country’s Covid-19 health pass

The coronapas, Denmark’s Covid-19 health pass used to document vaccination, test or infection history status, has been deactivated for use in the country because there are no longer any rules requiring its use.

The Danish version of the Covid-19 health pass has been removed from the country's coronapas app. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

The EU health pass section of the app can still be used for travel to countries that still have vaccination or other Covid-19 health pass rules, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Wednesday.

Restrictions requiring the coronapas in Denmark were mostly removed in February, though recommendations for it had remained in place at hospitals and in the care sector.

These local recommendations have now been lifted based on recommendations by the government’s Epidemic Commission advisory board, the ministry said in the statement.

This means no recommendations or requirements for use of the coronapas are now in place anywhere in Denmark.

The coronapas app will continue to work, but users will see a message when logging in stating that it only needs to be used in relation to international travel, and that the Danish format of the health pass has been removed.

A prompt then directs users to the international version of the pass.

A screenshot from the coronapas app telling users the Danish version of the Covid-19 health pass has been removed.

The international Covid-19 health pass also remains accessible on the website and Minsundhed app.

“The coronapas app has, since May 2021, been a crucial tool which has helped to reduce the risk of infection at gatherings and in situations where it would otherwise be high,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said in the statement.

“The coronapas has been a precondition us safely being able to keep society as open as possible,” he said.

Authorities will be able to reactivate the Danish part of the coronapas at short notice should its use be deemed necessary again in future.

Although the coronapas will no longer be used in health and care situations, guidelines on Covid-19 testing for staff and wearing PPE in these settings are still in use.

The Smittestop contact tracing app was also recently taken out of commission in Denmark.

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Denmark confirms change to coronapas validity period

The validity period for Denmark’s Covid-19 health pass, the coronapas, will be reduced to five months following parliamentary approval.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke displays the coronapas at a May 2021 briefing. The validity period for the health pass following Covid-19 vaccination will be reduced on January 16th.
Health Minister Magnus Heunicke displays the coronapas at a May 2021 briefing. The validity period for the health pass following Covid-19 vaccination will be reduced on January 16th. Photo:Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

The changes to the rules, first reported last week, were confirmed by Health Minister Magnus Heunicke to broadcaster TV2 on Wednesday afternoon after a meeting of parliament’s Epidemic Committee, which must approve changes to Covid-19 restrictions.

Under current rules, a coronapas is valid for seven months after a person is fully vaccinated, meaning they have received their second or final dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The new rules reduce that validity period to five months. The coronapas becomes valid again or remains valid if the holder has received a booster vaccination.

The change comes into effect on Sunday January 16th according to earlier information provided by the Ministry of health. This means that people who received their second dose five to seven months ago but have not had a booster will lose their green coronapas on that date.

Up to 500,000 people in Denmark could be lose their valid coronapas as a result of the change to the rules, news wire Ritzau writes.

The Covid health pass will become valid again immediately after the booster jab is received, according to the planned rule changes earlier announced by the Ministry of Health.

No decision has yet been made on the validity period of the coronapas following the booster jab. As such, no expiry date is currently set for the pass following boosters.

According to the rule changes tabled by the government to the Epidemic Committee earlier this week, the period for which the coronapas becomes invalid following a positive PCR test for Covid-19 is reduced from 14 days to 11 days under the new rules. It remains valid until five months after the positive PCR test (unless the holder subsequently receives a second or booster vaccine dose).

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.