Last week, it became clear that the government is considering introducing a corona passport for use at large events and restaurants in Norway.
FHI does not want to recommend the use of corona passports, but recently it became clear that the Norwegian Directorate of Health is open to a new solution. They believe the best alternative is a so-called 2G solution, where the unvaccinated are not given the opportunity to test themselves.
A corona pass that thus makes a distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated in society.
– As of today, it is not legal, at least not longer than for a short period in connection with the reopening of society, says law professor Hans Petter Graver to Dagbladet in an e-mail.
– Stands quite free
The main purpose of such a solution will, according to the authorities, be to shield the unvaccinated from infection from large crowds.
Graver says the current law is based on a number of assumptions about compliance with the EU’s corona certificate and its use to protect against infection.
– Protecting the unvaccinated against disease is basically something else. In that case, the Storting must pass a law authorizing this. Whether the Storting here is free, or whether there are limits in the Constitution and human rights that they must abide by, is a complicated question, says the law professor at the Faculty of Law in Oslo.
– I prefer that the Storting is fairly free, but I have not thought through the question to the bottom.
– Other purposes behind
When asked what he thinks of that the government is positive to differentiate more between vaccinated and unvaccinated, Graver says he finds it difficult to see the rationale behind such an approach.
– The health authorities say that it is not a measure that is suitable for limiting infection. If the purpose is to reduce hospital admissions, it is difficult to understand why it is so important to shield those under the age of 40 from getting covid-19, even if they are unvaccinated, says the law professor and continues:
– This may lead to the idea that there are other purposes behind it, such as contributing to vaccine pressure, or curbing an opinion directed at the unvaccinated.
The criticism from the law professor has been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Care Services. State Secretary Karl Kristian Bekeng confirms to Dagbladet that the government believes that we in Norway should be open to distinguishing between vaccinated and unvaccinated in some contexts.
– It may be appropriate to alleviate the pressure of measures in the large proportion of the population who have been vaccinated, protect the unvaccinated against serious illness and thus also take into account the capacity in the health and care sector.
– A law work in progress
According to the State Secretary, the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the National Institute of Public Health have been commissioned to assess specific proposals for how the corona certificate can be used at events and restaurants when the infection situation so requires.
– The Infection Control Act provides the right to grant fully vaccinated exemptions from infection control measures that otherwise apply, such as event restrictions and drinking bans, and that this is documented with a corona certificate. The precondition is that the infection control is justified, necessary and proportionate, says Bekeng in an e-mail to Dagbladet.
– Law professor Graver says it is not legal to exclude the unvaccinated from large events. Do you then have plans to introduce a law that authorizes this?
– The Norwegian Directorate of Health and the National Institute of Public Health are now assessing whether the infection control professional basis for using the current legal basis for corona certificates to make certain facilitations in the measures, says Bekeng.
– In addition, legislative work is underway for any broader domestic use of corona certificates. We will come back to this.