Denmark is hoping to restart its travel industry as early as summer 2021 thanks to its COVID passport initiative. The Scandinavian country has been extremely efficient in distributing vaccines to its population and the government is on track to offer vaccines to all 5.8 million of its citizens by June of this year. It’s hoped that it will be able to introduce and implement its COVID passport scheme as soon as possible.
“Denmark is still hard hit by the corona pandemic. But there are parts of Danish society that need to move forward, and a business community that needs to be able to travel,” Morten Bødskov, Denmark’s acting finance minister, told CNN last week. There is mounting pressure to open the borders to those who have had the vaccine due to the travel, hospitality, and entertainment industries being hit so hard by the pandemic.
“We have more than 800,000 jobs in Denmark that are linked to trading with the world so this is fundamental…if we want to start to export again and trading again, see business people meet again, things like the corona passport are fundamental to making that happen,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod shared with CNN.
Lars Ramme, the head of tourism for the Danish Chamber of Commerce, added, “If you start when COVID-19 has left society, it will be too late. With this project we’re very positive we will have a summer of joy, of football, of music. So better get started sooner, now, to plan.”
Even though the concept of a digital COVID passport has been discussed since the start of the pandemic, this issue remains controversial. Finding a way to share and store data securely is a challenge that the Danish government plans to tackle with the help of technology and innovation.
The options the government is exploring include a cloud-based technology where information is stored in bulk as well as blockchain — a system that is more complex but superior when it comes to data protection. IBM’s Copenhagen developers have already created a “Digital Health Pass” based on blockchain technology which they’re using to store information on new virus variants. The pass has a QR code that can be quickly scanned to reveal medical data as needed.
If Denmark’s plan succeeds, travel may become a lot easier by June, offering an example to other nations across the world.