In some countries, there are additional benefits/fewer restrictions to individuals that are COVID-19 vaccinated. For example, Norway has enabled authorities to place restrictions on those who are not vaccinated; the restrictions imposed on non-vaccinated individuals may include limitations on visiting public places, such as schools and other areas. Denmark is developing digital “vaccine passports” that would allow people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine to “travel to countries where such documentation is required during the pandemic.” The following research report covers the additional freedom (if any) granted to COVID-19 vaccinated individuals in New Zealand, China, Russia, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.
- New Zealand expects COVID-19 vaccines to be delivered to the first group of people during the 2nd quarter of 2021. Wellington plans to start vaccinating its frontline workers in April and the general public from July 2021.
- Vaccination is not mandatory for the New Zealand public.
- According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, they can not yet say how COVID-19 vaccination will impact their borders at this time (as of 21st January 2021).
- Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, has ordered the Russian government to consider issuing certificates to COVID-19 vaccinated individuals; these certificates will be used for overseas travels.
- According to Olga Tsvetkova, a deputy chief medical officer working at Moscow’s Clinic Number 3, healthcare employees who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine could be suspended from work. There are conflicting reports, however, with Clinic Number 3 officially commenting that vaccination is voluntary.
- COVID-19 vaccination in Norway is voluntary. However, “an addition to the Norwegian infectious disease protection law, smittevernloven § 3-8, could enable the government or Directorate of Health to require vaccination in certain instances.”
- The infectious disease protection law could also allow Norwegian authorities to place restrictions on those who are not COVID-19 vaccinated; these restrictions may include limits “on going to public places, schools or other areas” for non-vaccinated individuals.
- China’s vaccination campaign focuses on what they call “key priority groups, including doctors, hotel employees, border inspection personnel, food storage, and transportation workers, as well as travelers.”
- Denmark has announced plans to introduce digital vaccine passports for Danish travelers. Citizens are able to obtain these documents once they are vaccinated.
- The document serves as “vaccine passports” which would allow them to “travel to the countries where vaccination becomes mandatory for entry.”
- According to the Danish Health Ministry, the passport may be rolled out in the first months of 2021 and can be accessed through the Danish public health website.
- According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden, all vaccinations are voluntary, “including vaccination against COVID-19.”
- Sweden’s Public Health Agency mentions that even after vaccines have become available in Sweden, citizens are still expected to protect each other from infection by continuing to stay at home if they have symptoms, “keeping a distance, maintaining good hand hygiene, and working from home whenever possible.”