Health passport… ¿yes or no?
7 May, 2020duguech
The health passport is one of the most controversial issues these days. Many companies consider the entry into force of this certificate that identifies healthy people, or who have passed the Covid-19, to reactivate their work activity and keep their workers safe. However, there are many questions regarding the health passport:
- Is it legal
- Is the test effective?
- What information must the worker provide?
- Can an employee refuse to take the test?
The health passport is an instrument that will allow knowing – from serological tests – if there is the possibility of being immune to Covid-19, who has generated antibodies and if they can finally travel without fear of contagion.
Although it is an option that some companies have considered, its implementation is still an uncertain scenario and one that raises questions regarding legality. The legal framework of the European Union considers the Data Protection Law; reason why the requirement of this resource to travel -from and to EU countries- would be debatable.
In current circumstances, integrity and privacy are rights that can be modulated because there is a risk that endangers the health of all citizens, which authorizes companies to take measures that may be limiting if we talk about privacy from the workers.
The Occupational Risk Prevention Law allows companies to resort to restrictive measures to ensure the health and safety of their employees. A resource such as the disputed health passport must be preceded by other measures such as:
- Provision of protective equipment
- Cleaning and disinfection of facilities
- Strengthen physical distance measures
- Telecommuting whenever possible
Some companies have opted for a digital health passport. The applied system is developed through a private network based on blockchain technology that the company, and the centers that perform the tests, can access in real time and consult the results of the Covid-19 tests carried out on their workers.
This is a relief if we talk about security, but it is also disturbing if we address the issue of privacy. According to the Occupational Risk Prevention Law, the surveillance regulations applied to employees must have their consent, but given the emergency situation caused by Covid-19, the company can omit this authorization.
Not all companies currently have the appropriate technology to apply the health passport on their staff. Not all countries have the necessary resources to expand this coverage, not only at the business level, but also for the general public.
In Latin American countries such as Colombia and Chile, the processing of the health passport is already being implemented as a mandatory requirement for workers in the construction sector. However, there are no conclusive decisions regarding this instrument and its implementation in the rest of the affected countries.
It should be borne in mind that, from a medical point of view, experts point out that the health passport is a measure that currently does not offer absolute guarantees, but it is necessary that in some way we can reactivate the economy and that can only be done if the Workers return to companies, of course, in safe conditions.
Reactivating social and economic activity will depend on taking adequate measures for the safety of workers, on individual responsibility to understand that the care of all depends on personal care and, of course, on medical progress.
At Duguech & Dip we consider that it is still too early to ensure that the health passport is an effective measure, it will always be better to maintain prudence and listen to the experts; However, it is positive to observe how technology, solidarity and the responsibility of all combine to succeed and overcome this difficult situation.
This information does not constitute legal advice under any circumstances, serving only for informational purposes. In case you need professional services in the field of Global Immigration and Mobility, contact us.
* It should be borne in mind that the regulations of any of the countries analyzed, as well as the established procedures, may change at any time and without prior notice.
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