This week, the Regional Government of Galicia passed a bill that sees refusing the corona vaccine without valid reason as a “minor offense”. In most situations, this will be punishable by a fine of between €1,000 and €3,000.
Refusal of vaccination in most cases is punished as a minor violation of the law
The bill states however, that the degree of violation can in a number of cases be qualified as “serious”. The regional board, led by Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has been working on the bill since November. It has now been approved by a majority in the Chamber. As a result, this obliges residents of Galicia to be vaccinated against the corona virus. From the ruling Partido Popular, 41 were in favour, and 32 votes were received from the PSOE. However, the Galician nationalist party BNG were against the vaccination requirement.
First region with mandatory vaccination
With this, the Galicia region opens the legal way to deal with the corona pandemic through a vaccination obligation. Not wearing a face mask and drinking alcohol on the street is also seen as a violation of the law and punishable by a fine. Under the new bill, “unjustified refusal to submit to preventive measures consisting of vaccination prescribed by health authorities” is a minor violation of the law.
Maximum fine of €60,000
A minor violation is how it will be seen for the majority of cases. However, in some situations the offense will be punished more severely. For example if vaccination is refused by persons who “pose a great risk to public health”. In that case, the fine can amount to an amount of between €3,001 and €60,000. However, it won’t be easy to determine when that is or not. For instance, a health care worker who ignores his quarantine runs the risk of being punished for a “very serious violation”. For vaccination refusal, the risk to public health is more difficult to define. In this respect, the Spanish Ministry of Health has therefore expressed objections to mandatory participation in the vaccination campaign.
In any case, a majority of the Galician sub-government is in favour of a vaccination requirement. This means after publication in the region’s official gazette, the measure will come into force within 24 hours.