An emergency law passed in Denmark on Thursday night, giving health authorities the power to force people to be tested and vaccinated for coronavirus.
The new law, which will remain in force for 12-months, will grant authorities the power to enforce quarantine measures, testing, treatment and vaccinations, even though there is currently no vaccine for the virus.
Denmark’s The Local reports: Trine Maria Ilsøe, DR’s court correspondent, said that Danish citizens could face prosecution under the new law if they refused to comply with health authorities’ demands.
“It means that you could be sentenced to punishment if you, for example, refuse to allow yourself to be tested for coronavirus,” she said.
The situation is unprecedented in Danish political and legal history, says Jens Elo Rytter, law professor at the University of Copenhagen.
“It is certainly the most extreme since World War II,” he said. “There have been strong interventions in various terrorist responses, such as after the terrorist attack in 2001, but this goes further.”
The Local said the government initially wanted police to be given the right to enter private homes if there is suspicion of infection, however, this was later dropped when met with opposition in parliament.
Michael Bang Petersen, professor of political science at Aarhus University, told Jyllands-Posten, it’s a question of what we, as a democracy, can do to ensure the safety of society.
“What we also have to deal with now is what basic elements of our democracy we are willing to compromise to save lives.”