COPENHAGEN (VG) Denmark is further stepping up in the fight against the unruly virus. Now everyone has to show coronapass or test themselves several times a week to get to work.
Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson (photo)
– If one of our 150 employees can not show a corona passport, they will not be allowed to enter the job here, says Bo Veibel.
It will soon be the new reality in Denmark.
Veibel is chief financial officer at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, the museum with 10,000 works of art in the middle of Copenhagen, one of many cultural institutions that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
The consequences are significant if people do not have the corona passport in order. That is, they have been fully vaccinated, have undergone covid-19 disease within the last six months or they have a new coronate test.
– If they have to go home again, they must either be deducted from their salary or take vacation days, Veibel says.
The Danish government and health authorities are now tightening their grip to get people vaccinated.
The country still has around half a million people who have been offered vaccines, but who have not.
At the same time, infection and hospitalizations are rising.
– We have to take good care of each other
On the same morning as the corona passport was reintroduced in Denmark, the Danish government and the social partners confirmed that they had agreed on an agreement which gives all companies the opportunity to demand a valid corona passport from employees.
Acting Minister Mattias Tesfaye met the press for a called working meeting in the department.
– I am very happy that in a short time we have made an agreement that can provide greater security in the workplace, and which can help Denmark get through the winter as well as possible, said Tesfaye.
The agreement is valid as long as covid-19 is declared and a socially critical illness in Denmark, prior to one month. It also states that it is up to the individual employer to decide whether the employees may test themselves and show a corona passport.
– We will take good care of each other and I want to encourage people to get vaccinated, said the Minister of Labor and repeated the government’s earnest prayer to Danes.
– The fear increases
In the latest weekly report from Aarhus University and HOPE projectt, which was published on 9 November on the Danes’ infection-preventing behavior and perceptions, shows five main features:
- People’s fears of the virus have been rising sharply over the past week. It has since reached its highest level, the pandemics starting in March 2020.
- People’s confidence in the advice of the health authorities has developed slightly negatively in the last week.
- There has been a clear decline in people’s motivation to deal with infection prevention.
- The introduction of new national measures and restrictions has the support of the population and is slightly upwards, including corona passes both in outdoor life and in the workplace.
- 91 percent of Danes have either started vaccination or have been fully vaccinated, and the willingness to vaccinate has increased by a percentage of the last week and 2.5 percent of the last month.
– Vaccinated are super-spreaders
Nevertheless, there are a significant number of vaccine doubters in Danish society, especially among young people, the report concludes.
One of them is Saseline Sørensen. One of Denmark’s strongest opponents of the covid-19 measures and the corona vaccine.
We meet her at a café in Østerbro, where she lives.
Saseline is a singer, influencer and former radio presenter at Danmarks Radio. Before Christmas last year, she had nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram when the account was shut down due to controversial opinions about the vaccine and the pandemic.
– For me, this is personal, from the point of view of my own health. It’s not political. I am not a vaccine opponent, my children follow the vaccine program – but I will never take the covid-19 vaccine, she says.
She believes the vaccine is still in a test phase three until 2023.
– I do not want to put either myself or my children in a situation where we are given a dose that is still experimental.
– Take the corona pass with a smile and a good mood
At Petter Stordalen’s newly opened hotel in Copenhagen, Villa Copenhagen, all lunch guests on Friday morning will have to show a corona passport to be allowed to enter the dining hall and eat the first meal of the day.
– I have had to reject several without a valid corona passport. They were understandably annoyed because they paid extra to eat her, says waiter Sophie Baagø Günzel (29) who registered all the reviews.
Several Norwegians have to make a return trip to hotels because they forgot to pick up the phone with the Norwegian corona certificates on it.
– I feel a bit like a police officer here I stand. And because I’m a little sensitive as a person, it’s getting a little overwhelming with people’s reactions. But after a week, I will probably be completely used to it, says Sophie.
– What do you want to say to Norwegians who eventually also have to relate to corona passes?
– Take it with a smile and good mood. Measures are being taken to take care of us and to prevent a new shutdown. The alternative is worse that people get laid off and lose jobs and houses.
Tired of pandemic
At the large museum Glyptoteket in Copenhagen city center, stately antique statues stretch towards Renaissance architecture and the conservatory with all the palm trees and the large dome that almost breathes from the visitors.
But they have become fewer. The pandemic has led to a 30–40 percent decline in visitors, and the museum has not been able to reach the 2019 level.
– We notice that people are still worried about coming, even though we are very careful to follow the health authorities’ corona advice, says the head of security at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Morten Dam.
– It does not make sense that we control all our results and do not do the same with our employees. Therefore, we will follow the government’s proposal to introduce this in the workplace as well, says Bo Veibel.
On Friday, the museum hired an extra guard to check people’s corona passes at the entrance. Absolutely no one gets in without it. Some had to turn in the door.
Mette Preisler (75) and Birthe Larsen (76) both had their corona passports ready on their mobile phones before they entered the museum on Friday morning.
But now they are tired of all the restrictions.
– This is so boring and we are so tired of this pandemic now, the two older women say.
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