This weekend (10th September) Denmark became the first EU country to announce the end of COVID-19 restrictions, with vaccine passports being abolished the same day.
With vaccination at 74.3% of the population, the restrictions are viewed as ‘unnecessary’. Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke said “The epidemic is under control, we have record high vaccination rates. Therefore, on September 10, we can drop some of the special rules we have had to introduce in the fight against COVID19.”
Denmark launched their version of the COVID passport “coronapas” on April 21. Bars, hairdressers, gyms and venues were required to only allow entry to people who were fully vaccinated, had negative test results less, or who had contracted COVID in the previous two to 3 months.
On Sunday (12th September) the UK government health secretary Sajid Javid, said the plan to roll-out COVID passports from 1st October, would not go ahead (with the exception of Scotland). “We shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it.” He said.
The UK has a vaccination rate of 64% of its population and the government has received pressure from businesses & private citizens concerned about human rights abuse and the cost to business, and from within its own ranks, to shelve COVID passport plan.
Denmark is the European Union’s third-most vaccinated country at 74% of its population. Although still experiencing high case numbers, its hospitalisations and deaths are the second lowest (per million of the population) of EU countries.
As of the 13th September Australia has a vaccination rate of 33% of its population, with New Zealand at 29%. Governments in both countries face increasing pressure to deliver on their recovery promises and eventually lift restrictions, following these announcements.