COVID-19: New Act On PCR Testing Of Labour Force Arriving From Abroad Passed And With Immediate Effect

By Mia Boesen, Pia Skovgaard Hansen, Søren Narv Pedersen

02-2021

As a consequence of the COVID-19 situation and in light of emerging new virus mutations which may entail increased dissemination, the government has decided to make it a requirement for employers engaging labour force arriving from abroad to arrange for COVID-19 PCR testing of such labour force upon arrival to Denmark. With effect from 2 February 2021, a bill has been passed regarding the duty to ensure covid-19 testing of labour force arriving from abroad upon entry into Denmark.

What does the duty entail for employers?

Employers must ensure that a plan for COVID-19 testing of labour force arriving from countries, regions or areas covered by the rules is prepared in writing. The plan must include the following;

1) Information on how the employer informs the employees of the COVID-19 testing in Denmark, including when, where and how the test is performed.

2) Information on how the employer ensures to be updated on an ongoing basis regarding countries, regions and areas covered by the rules.

3) A list of employees arrived in Denmark, including information on the country, region or area the employee travelled from, date of the covid-19 test taken prior to entry into Denmark, if the employee in question is required to do so, information on the date of the COVID-19 test after entry into Denmark, and information on exemption, if any, from the test requirement.

The plan must be updated on an ongoing basis in connection with employees’ entry into Denmark.

Non-compliance may result in a fine.

The obligation also applies to self-employed people (without employees) entering Denmark in order to work. They must also make sure to be tested for COVID-19 upon the entry into Denmark.

When must the test be taken and who must be tested?

The rules on the specific point of time at which the COVID-19 test must be taken upon the entry into Denmark will be stipulated by a statutory order.

The requirement does not apply when the person or persons arriving into Denmark to work are residents in Denmark. The requirement for a PCR test does, however, apply to arriving employees with Danish citizenship residing outside Denmark regardless of the duration of the stay and the character of the work.

Who will be the supervisory authority?

The Danish Working Environment Authority will supervise compliance with the requirement.

In accordance with the above, employees must be able to document in writing to the Danish Working Environment Authority that a COVID-19 test has been taken or that the person in question is exempted from the test requirement (e.g. a resident in Denmark).

When will the rules take effect?

The act will take effect immediately and will as a starting point be rescinded on 1 July 2021.

Bird & Bird remarks:

The actual wording of the rules has not yet been determined and will be completed by statutory orders. Therefore, it remains unclear for now whether any groups of employees are exempt from the requirement for employers to ensure PCR testing upon entry.

The provisions of act no. 1641 of 19 November 2020 will apply in relation to COVID-19 tests to be taken in accordance with the rules described above. Please find our previous newsletter about this here.

Should you have any questions to the above or to other rules relating to the COVID-19 situation – both in Denmark and internationally – do not hesitate to contact Bird & Bird.