The increase in COVID-19 infections during the autumn in Spain is leading more and more autonomous communities to demand the COVID passport to access certain services or participate in different activities: five (Catalonia, Aragon, Navarra, the Balearic Islands and Galicia) have already implemented it; a sixth, Murcia, allows you to order it in places that want to operate with full capacity; and another two (Basque Country and Valencian Community) are pending judicial authorization to incorporate it into the tools with which they try to stop the new wave of the coronavirus.
After the removal of a large part of the restrictions that were lifted before the summer as vaccination progressed and the incidence of the disease was reduced, the COVID certificate is now becoming the main measure, along with masks and safety distance, with which the autonomous governments seek to stop the increase in cases, with their eyes already set on the bridge of the Constitution and on Christmas dates.
The ultimate goal is to avoid reintroducing restrictions that would not only affect economic activity, but would also be unpopular with a citizenry that was already seeing the end of the pandemic. Hence, the COVID passport is used, the document that certifies that a person has the complete vaccination schedule against the coronavirus or has overcome the infection in the last half year, although it is also possible to verify that one is not infected with a diagnostic test (PCR or antigens) performed in the previous days. This is its implementation by autonomous communities.
The Junta de Andalucía, which already made an attempt to implement the COVID passport in summer although it was rejected by the courts, has now proposed that the certificate be progressively mandatory depending on the evolution of the pandemic, primarily in hospitals and residences, but also in nightlife, large events and cultural and sports activities. The measure is pending the evaluation of the commission of regional experts before requesting judicial endorsement.
The COVID passport is mandatory from November 25 for access to party rooms, dance halls and discos; to celebrations such as weddings, baptisms, communions and social, family, religious or civil in restaurants and bars; and to events that bring together 500 people inside or a thousand outside.
At the moment, the Asturian Government is not considering promoting measures or regulations that imply the requirement to display the COVID certificate. However, the regional Executive leaves the door open to impose it in the event that the technicians consider it necessary.
Although it was implemented in summer to restrict access to bars and restaurants, the improvement in epidemiological data led to limiting its use, so that now it is only required in visits to nursing homes and nightclubs. Nevertheless, President Francina Armengol has already warned that the Ministry of Health is considering expanding its scope of application again to allow access to closed places such as restaurants, bars or gyms.
At the moment, the Cantabrian Government does not consider requesting the use of the COVID passport, despite the fact that the president of the region, Miguel Ángel Revilla, defended its usefulness to control unvaccinated people.
Castilla la Mancha
The Government of Castilla-La Mancha has indicated that it does not see “necessary” to require the COVID passport, since it has an incidence much lower than the national average.
Castile and Leon
Castilla y León has announced that it will take a decision before the Constitution bridge, when it has the approval of the committee of regional experts of the pandemic so that the legal services can request the endorsement of the Superior Court of Justice of the Community.
Catalonia, which for weeks had required the COVID certificate for access to the premises of nightlife, just extend its use to bars and restaurants -except on the terraces-, visits to nursing homes, gyms, congresses, conventions, trade fairs, theaters, cinemas, auditoriums and commercial galleries, among other places and activities.
The government has requested this Thursday the Superior Court of Justice of the region to authorize the implementation of the COVID certificate in hospitality and leisure establishments with capacity for more than 50 people, as well as in visits to nursing homes and hospitals.
The Extremadura Government has not ruled on the possibility of using the COVID passport.
The Riojan Government, although it announced that it would consult the La Rioja Superior Court of Justice about the possible implementation of the COVID passport, has finally warned that it will adapt to the update of the new risk traffic light approved this week, therefore postponing the decision on the certificate.
For the moment, the Community of Madrid does not consider it necessary to adopt the COVID certificate, although, according to Europa Press, they are “vigilant” in the face of the evolution of the pandemic.
The Murcian Government has also introduced the COVID passport, although with voluntary character: they can demand it in celebration halls and nightlife venues that want to operate with one hundred percent of their capacity, as long as the municipality is at a low or medium health alert level. Therefore, it is not mandatory for the hotel industry as a whole, in which the capacity is limited to 75%
Navarra demands from this Thursday the certificate of immunity to allow the entrance to restaurants with more than 60 diners, establishments with a disco license or party rooms and mass events of a cultural nature in interior spaces with the consumption of food or drink of more than a thousand people.
In Euskadi, the Basque Government tried to implement the COVID passport for access to nightlife venues and restaurants with more than 50 people, but the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country did not endorse the measure. The decision has finally been appealed before the Supreme Court, which will be pronounced definitively in the coming days.