Danish chief of police Thorkild Fogde has said that police will enforce the health authorities' orders. Photo: Philip Davale/Scanpix
Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said that the reporting system, which was first reported about on Tuesday, was too much of an infringement of human rights.
“I became aware of this this morning,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “It was an initiative of [Patient Safety] Authority. We had told the authority that they should do everything they can. But here they went too far in relation to the freedom of citizens.”
The reporting system was set up as part of the new enforcement powers granted to health authorities under the emergency law rushed through the Danish parliament on March 12.
On the front page of the website of the Danish Patient Safety Authority, there was a section, now removed, which asked citizens: “Are you worried about the behaviour of an individual believed or presumed infected with Covid-19?”.
Those who clicked on the banner were taken to another page where it told Danes how to report fellow citizens to the authority.
“If an injunction is not followed, the Danish Patient Safety Authority can, if necessary, call on police assistance to enforce the injunction,” the text explains.
The website then contained a link to a secure mailbox where citizens could send reports through their borger.dk, virk.dk or e-Boks accounts. “This ensures that unauthorised persons cannot read the content,” the website reads.
Under the March 12 law, the Danish Patient Safety Authority can order anyone to stay home in self-isolation, to go to hospital, or to take a test, even if they do not wish to do so.
Anyone showing coronavirus symptoms, who has been in contact with someone who shows coronavirus symptoms, or who has even been in an area where the virus is at large, can be reported, and then issued an injunction if the authority deems it necessary.