Green light: enter. Red light: stay away. Denmark has debuted a new digital coronavirus passport that it hopes will promote a return to “normal” life within and beyond the kingdom’s borders.
Denmark Digital Passport Will Enable More Travel
Whether it is a trip to hairdresser or a trip across the European Union, Denmark has unveiled a new digital passport that will determine who is allowed in and who is kept out.
The mobile phone vaccine passport app, called Coronapas, will be scanned before entering:
- train station
A green bar indicates the patron is vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. If the app flashes red, a reason will not be given. But without a green bar, flying or dining in a restaurant or stepping onto a public boat will be restricted.
Finance Minister Nicolai Vammen explained:
“Coronapas can be used to travel in Europe from July 1. It will apply within the EU as official evidence that you have either been tested negative, vaccinated or are immune because you have been infected.”
However, it is not clear whether it will be accepted by other EU nations this summer or whether a paper copy will be necessary in order to avoid potential border restrictions or quarantines.
How Does This Impact U.S. Travelers?
International travel to Denmark remains restricted for those outside the European Union. The Danish government divides countries into the three tiers: yellow, orange, or red. Most of the world, including the United States, falls into orange.
Currently, orange travelers are not allowed into Denmark absent a valid reason, such as business travel or family visits. Tourism is not currently permitted.
While the ban on tourism will soon be lifted, pre-flight testing, post-flight testing, mandatory quarantine, and fifth-day testing will likely still be required, at least during the first part of summer.
Denmarks’ government announced it would no longer requires a negative test result for incoming EU residents and that those arriving into the country who can present a vaccine certificate from an EU-approved vaccine administered in the EU (both criterion must be met), can avoid quarantine.
But for most of the rest of the world, including the USA, visiting Denmark (and by extension its two autonomous regions, the Faroe Islands and Greenland) remains elusive.
As a nod to privacy advocates and other skeptics, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke does not expect the digital corona passport to be used forever, noting that “of course” it will eventually be phased off:
“We are not meant to use it forever. There is no doubt that we will have to use it over the summer, but it is of course something that must be phased out.”
But at least for the summer, except that green means go and red means stop not just for traffic signals, but for digital passports.
image: Marco Verch