Our neighboring country in the south has chosen a slightly different tactic to fight the epidemic.
In Denmark, widespread group testing has begun. This means that the Danes can take advantage of the many offers in the community, which would otherwise have been closed for reasons of infection control.
Tested 40-50 times
TV 2 meets Mattis Holthe Møll Austrheim in Copenhagen where he is studying song and music at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He may have set a record on a Norwegian or Danish test.
I think I’ve been tested 40-50 times now, he says.
The test ensures that he and the other students can meet up for body singing lessons. This fall, he was present when the Royal Danish Theater held the opera “Nothing” with 30 young people sang their hearts amid the pandemic.
The test revealed two asymptomatically infected people, but there was no outbreak, Mattis says.
Corona passage is required
Testing for the virus has become very popular after the Danes introduced the so-called Corona passport.
In Denmark, a Corona passport is valid if you have been fully vaccinated, have succumbed to Covid-19 disease within the past three months, or have had a negative test in one of the past three days.
As a result, in the past few days alone, 200,000 to 350,000 Danes have tested themselves every day.
A Corona pass is required if you want to go to a hairdresser or take a trip to Tivoli. From tomorrow, it will also be possible to visit an in-house restaurant, cafe, hostel or hostel with a valid Corona passport.
But the introduction of Corona passports did not go smoothly in Denmark.
Controversy has been fierce, and many Danes are angry at what they think are highly intrusive measures for those who do not have a Corona passport.
Because although it is easy to be tempted by a similar solution here at home, Assistant Health Director Espin Rostrup Nackstad notes that Denmark, despite a lot of testing, has more stringent rules than the national rules in Norway.
With a Corona passport in Denmark, you can access a lot of what you can actually do without a Corona passport in many places in Norway, such as going to a hairdresser.
At the same time, the strict rules in Oslo and Viken contribute to making them more stringent in these areas compared to our neighboring country.
Re-opening after that
In Denmark, the Corona passport was an important part of the country’s reopening. The Danes have gone through a strict and widespread lockdown.
Mattis and his colleagues are very optimistic.
Not only are they reopening the country, but they are opening up more than planned.
Work on the Corona certification is afoot in Norway and a simplified version will be ready in May, according to FHI. But the purpose of its use has not been specified.
Geir Arne Olsen is the General Manager of Netcompany, the company that developed the Danish passport.
– The good thing about this passport is that we carry with us a safe, unforged confirmation of privacy. Olsen says to TV 2 it shows that we are already immune, tested or inoculated, and it gives us more safety for the community to use again.
I submitted proposals to the government
Olsen says this becomes especially important when you finally begin to travel again.
Then it becomes important to have a solution that communicates across national borders and can verify the same information.
But first the technical solution has to be in place and the Norwegian Directorate of Health has now submitted its proposals.
We are working on these matters, and it is a political decision, what can be done with the testimony of Corona, says Nakstad.
When can the decision be made?
– The government has received a suggestion from us regarding technical matters related to the use of a passport or vaccine certificate. Then you have to think about what should be the possibilities when traveling domestically, or for example between countries in Europe.