Over the past months, there has been a growing attention to the risk that migrant workers who are commuting to and from Denmark can spread the COVID-19. To mitigate the risk the Danish government has presented seven initiatives:
- It is the employers’ responsibility to take the necessary measures related to COVID-19 to secure a safe and healthy working environment. The government establishes cooperation at sectoral level with the social partners to develop necessary sector specific solutions. As an example, the food-processing sector employs a large number of migrant workers.
- More control can lead to more workers in self-isolation. The Epidemic Act opens for the authorities to force a person into self-isolation if she or he arrives from an area with widespread infection. It will be up to the Labour Inspection, the Patient Safety Authority and the Police to be aware of this possibility.
- As soon as it is possible (technically and practically), an offensive testing strategy will be established. The priority will in first instance be migrant health care workers in order to mitigate spreading the COVID-19 to vulnerable groups like elders who live in nursing homes.
- The Labour Inspection will establish a targeted inspection on COVID-19 infection at the work places. The Labour Inspection will give guidance to the most relevant sectors. One example could be the construction sector, which employs a large number of migrant workers. The Labour Inspection will issue injunctions when necessary.
- The government will establish a fast working ad hoc taskforce with the social partners. The taskforce will have develop specific recommendations on improving security and prevention of the spreading of COVID-19. The Patient Safety Authority will support this work by issuing guides targeted on migrant workers.
- The government will have a focus on the development of the COVID-19 in the regions with a large number of workers commuting between Denmark and their home country. The authorities are prepared to act in case the spreading of the infection increases.
- In case all these measures are not sufficient to handle the COVID-19 spreading via migrant workers and to secure a safe and healthy working environment it might be necessary to impose 14 days of self-isolation for all who arrives to Denmark, whatever nationality.