17th January 2022
Those aged 16 and above receiving vaccinations
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Spanish regions considering wider use of Covid passports amid infection surge

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (22 Nov)

Amid concerns about the current rise of Covid-19 infections in Spain, some of the regional governments are asking courts to authorise the introduction of virus passports in order to help control the pandemic’s spread.

The governments of the Basque Country, Valencia, Navarra and Catalonia say they are ready to be the first regions of Spain to introduce Covid-19 passports for people to enter nightclubs, bars, restaurants and some public events. However, they would first require court permission.

A Covid-19 passport could show that a person has been fully vaccinated against the virus, whether they have had the virus in the last six months, or whether they have tested negative for Coronavirus via a PCR or antigen test in the past 72 or 48 hours respectively.

In Galicia, a Covid pass is already required in order to enter nightclub venues, but the region is also considering asking the court to authorise its use in more situations. In Catalonia, a Covid certificate demonstrating proof of vaccination, having had the virus, or a recent negative test, is also currently required to enter nightclubs or to attend events in hotels and restaurants with indoor dance floors – but the Catalan authorities have also been considering extending the measure.

The Basque government’s minister of health, Gotzone Sagardui, said on Tuesday that the administration will file an official petition at court this week. If approved, the measure will apply to people aged 12 and over who want to enter nightlife establishments featuring music or dancing, or even restaurants with more than 50 customers.

‘The trend shows that the pandemic is advancing at a worrying rate of growth,’ Sagardui told a press conference. ‘More than 50% growth in (infection) rates in the past two weeks suggests an accelerated growth of the pandemic.’

The head of Valencia’s regional government, Ximo Puig, announced a similar decision on Monday.

The regional government in Navarra is also considering whether to request court authorisation to introduce a Covid passport and this week it is holding meetings with sectors that would be affected by the measure.

Figures released on Tuesday showed that the overall incidence rate across Spain has risen six points to 88.65 per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days. It was at its highest in Navarra at 203. It was also over 100 in the Basque Country, Aragón, the Baleares, La Rioja and Catalonia.

Due to the number of citizens fully vaccinated, Spain is planning to reclassify the ‘low risk’ threshold of Covid as being for incidence rates up to 100. Previously it was up to 50. ‘Medium risk’ will be considered between 100-300, with ‘high risk’ at 300-500 and ‘extreme risk’ above 500 per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days.

Those aged 16 and above receiving vaccinations
Vaccinations at the Palau d’Esports de Catalunya in Tarragona in June. (SalutCat)

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