Denmark launches new corona passport: Here’s what you need to know about ‘Coronapas’ app

Denmark’s new app for coronavirus passports, Coronapas, can be downloaded from App Store and Google Play as of Friday.

Denmark launches new corona passport: Here’s what you need to know about 'Coronapas' app
Denmark's new corona passport app was launched on Friday. Photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The app was developed by private company Netcompany on behalf of the Ministry of Health’s data agency and the Agency for Digitisation after parliament’s decision in February to broadly use corona passports as part of the national plan to lift lockdown.

Ethics and cyber security advisors have also been involved in the app’s development, broadcaster DR reports.

Although the pre-existing MinSundhed app has been used as a platform for corona passports since March, the new dedicated app will supersede it amongst users in Denmark, the government hopes.

Unlike the old app, Coronapas gives access to a page which shows a QR code with a green banner if the passport is valid.

The requirements for a valid corona passport — full vaccination or two weeks since first dose; a negative test taken within the last 72 hours; or recent recovery from Covid-19 — are unchanged.

The rules for when it must be shown, for example when eating inside at a restaurant, using a gym or when spot checked at a library — also remain the same.

READ ALSO: When will Denmark stop requiring corona passports and face masks?

Unlike the MinSundhed app, the new app tells the user their vaccination, infection and test history but only show others whether or not the corona passport is valid – and not the reason for its validity.

It also removes the need for the reader to calculate whether a corona passport is still valid, for example by looking at the time and date of a recent test. The QR code page will automatically display in green if the passport is valid.

The new app is also designed to be compatible with foreign travel where and when corona passports are a requirement for this.

By switching to ‘foreign travel’ mode, the app automatically applies the EU criteria for it to be valid for travel on the continent. This can be different from the criteria used in Denmark.

The app is compatible with European standards and can communicate with readers and technology developed for the same purpose in other EU countries, according to pilot project testing.

“With the corona passport, the door will soon again be open to all countries in Europe where the pandemic is under control because, from June 1st, it will be possible to use the new corona passport to travel withing the EU,” finance minister Nicolai Wammen told DR.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

In order to download and use the app, you must have a NemID, the secure digital system used to log on to online services in Denmark.

Corona passports are valid 14 days after receiving the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination or when fully vaccinated; for 72 hours after a negative rapid or PCR test for the virus; and for up to 8 months after infection with and recovery from Covid-19.

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Covid deaths in Sweden ‘set to rise in coming weeks’

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has warned that the number of weekly Covid deaths is set to rise, after the number of people testing positive for the virus rose for the sixth week running.

Covid deaths in Sweden 'set to rise in coming weeks'

According to the agency, an average of 27 people have died with or from the virus a week over the past three weeks. 

“According to our analyses, the number who died in week 27 (July 4th-July 11th), is more than died in week 26 and we expect this to continue to grow,” the agency wrote in a report issued on Thursday. 

In the week ending July 17th (week 28), 4,700 new cases of Covid-19 were registered, a 22 percent rise on the previous week. 

“We are seeing rising infection levels of Covid-19 which means that there will be more people admitted to hospital, and even more who die with Covid-19,”  said Anneli Carlander, a unit chief at the agency. “The levels we are seeing now are higher than they were last summer, but we haven’t reached the same level we saw last winter when omicron was spreading for the first time.” 

While 27 deaths a week with for from Covid-19 is a rise on the low levels seen this spring, it is well below the peak death rate Sweden saw in April 2020, when more than 100 people were dying a day. 

The number of Covid deaths recorded each week this summer. Source. Public Health Agency of Sweden
A graph of Covid deaths per day since the start of the pandemic shows that the current death rate, while alarming, remains low. Photo: Public Health Agency of Sweden

Carlander said that cases were rising among those in sheltered accommodation for the elderly, and also elderly people given support in their own homes, groups which are recommended to get tested for the virus if they display symptoms. The infection rate among those given support in their homes has risen 40 percent on last week. 

This week there were also 12 new patients admitted to intensive care units with Covid-19 in Sweden’s hospitals.  

The increase has come due to the new BA.5 variant of omicron, which is better able to infect people who have been vaccinated or already fallen ill with Covid-19. Vaccination or a past infection does, however, give protection against serious illness and death.