Spain’s Andalusia approves Covid health pass for bars and restaurants

covid health pass andalusia
The Covid health pass for the hospitality sector will be required until January 15th at the very least. Photo: François Lo Presti/AFP
An Andalusian court has approved measures that require a negative Covid-19 test or Covid health passport to enter cafés, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other hospitality establishments in the southern region from Monday December 20th.

A previous request was rejected as its wording would have meant that workers would need to produce the certificate.

But on Friday afternoon the judges of the Andalusian High Court ultimately concluded that, despite the fact that there are some infringements of fundamental rights, the measure is not implementing anything compulsory because people have the choice between a negative test or vaccination.

Moreover, it is an infringement “so rare”, the other fundamental right it is protecting – the right to life – outweighs anything else and is, therefore, “in accordance with the law” and satisfies the criteria of proportionality, suitability and necessity.

The Covid health pass measure was already applicable to gaining entry to hospitals and care homes in Andalusia.

The measure applies to anyone aged 12 and over in the southern region.

READ ALSO: How to get a Covid-19 health pass for daily affairs in Andalusia

Although controversial in other European countries, the court ruled that the Covid passport “is necessary in order to immediately reduce the rising rate of infections” and because it limits access to people who may have a higher risk of transmission of the disease.

MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

The use of the Covid Digital Certificate for daily affairs in Andalusia has been initially approved until January 15th, in a bid not only to slow infections of the new Omicron variant but to try and limit the inevitable surge many medical experts in the region expect following the upcoming Christmas period, when increased travelling and socialising is anticipated.

Covid-19 cases have been skyrocketing across Spain in recent weeks, though both hospitalisations and deaths are nowhere close to the levels seen in the past thanks to Spain’s vaccination rollout.

Medical experts in Madrid estimate that anything between 30 percent and 60 percent of new cases are of the Omicron variant, and in Catalonia new self-isolation measures were introduced on Friday in a bid to try and slow the rising caseload, where it is believed 25 percent of new cases are of omicron. 

READ MORE: Andalusia to require Covid health pass at most outdoor bar terraces

Article by Conor Faulkner.

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