Denmark to Become the First Country in the World with Vaccine Passports



Denmark is planning a digital passport that will allow people who have had Covid vaccines to travel.

Finance minister Morten Boedskov said today that ‘in three, four months, a digital corona passport will be ready for use in, for example, business travel’.

‘It is absolutely crucial for us to be able to restart Danish society so that companies can get back on track,’ he said. ‘Many Danish companies are global companies with the whole world as a market.’

Similar technology is being developed in the United States by big names like Microsoft and Oracle to give travellers encrypted digital wallets to hold their vaccination credentials.

Before the end of February, citizens in Denmark would be able to view – on a Danish health website – official confirmation of whether they had been vaccinated.

Mr Boedskov said: ‘It will be the extra passport that you will be able to have on your mobile phone that documents that you have been vaccinated.

‘We can be among the first in the world to have it and can show it to the rest of the world.’

The presentation was made together with representatives of the main business organisations, the Confederation of Danish Industries, which represents Denmark’s major companies, and the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has been weighing up proposals to issue vaccination certificates to help get travellers to their holiday destinations more quickly and avoid another disastrous summer for Europe’s tourism sector.

But the EU’s executive arm said that for now such certificates would only be used for medical purposes, to monitor the possible adverse effects of vaccines for instance.

Other similar digital passports are being developed to help travellers securely show they have complied with Covid-19 testing requirements.

One, called CommonPass, said it could also track vaccinations and is being tested by US airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue.

CommonPass is working alongside the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI) to deliver encrypted copies of immunisation records in a digital wallet.

VCI includes giants like Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle, as well as US health care nonprofit Mayo Clinic.

Paul Meyer, chief executive of The Commons Project, said: ‘The goal of the Vaccination Credential Initiative is to empower individuals with digital access to their vaccination records so they can use tools like CommonPass to safely return to travel, work, school, and life, while protecting their data privacy.’

‘Open standards and interoperability are at the heart of VCI’s efforts and we look forward to supporting the World Health Organization and other global stakeholders in implementing and scaling open global standards for health data interoperability.’

However, digital passports and paper credentials are raising concerns among privacy groups that believe ‘until everyone has access to an effective vaccine, any system requiring a passport for entry or service will be unfair,’ as stated by Privacy International.

‘The vaccine is a public health exercise, and must not be a new discriminator,’ the group shared on its website.

The group does agree that such records are ‘probably necessary,’ but worries they could ‘open a can of worms.’

‘To what degree does this documentation need to be trusted to be reviewed by other providers? And who else will want access? That is where things get more complicated. And that’s where ambitions lie,’ says Privacy International.


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