More and more autonomous regions want to fight the pandemic with a Covid passport

by Lorraine Williamson
pandemic law

MADRID – The number of corona infections is rising rapidly in Spain. Therefore, more and more regional authorities want to take tougher measures. Hence, with a new pandemic law, they want to be able to reverse the rising trend in infections. 

For several weeks in a row, the infection figures in Spain have been rising rapidly. And on average there are again almost 100 positively tested people per 100 thousand inhabitants. To be precise, on Wednesday there were 96.12. 

Covid passport for public spaces

Consequently, for many regional authorities there is, therefore, a great need to jointly pursue an unambiguous policy. This would require far-reaching measures such as the obligation of the Covid passport in a number of public spaces. 

Although it mainly concerns this much-discussed covid passport. The regions also have measures they want to make decisions about independently. This includes the face mask or vaccination obligation, which is currently not regulated by law. 

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With the covid passport, the regions could keep unvaccinated people out of the hospitality, cultural, and leisure establishments. Consequently, they want to use this to put an end to current restrictions limiting the maximum occupancy or adjusting opening hours. 

Valencia and the Basque Country on the way to Covid passport 

The regional authorities of Aragon, the Canary Islands, Murcia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Valencia and Navarra have announced that they want to introduce a covid passport to access these venues. Valencia President Ximo Puig said he was finalising the introduction of the Covid passport. “This access restriction to public places should provide maximum security for the 90% of residents vaccinated against Covid-19,” Puig said. The Basque Country has even gone a step further and has already applied for approval from the court. 

Pandemic law 

Like the aforementioned regions, the administrations of Andalucia and Castile and León are also in favor of a general pandemic law that would allow for equal policies throughout Spain. Only the regions of Extremadura, Cantabria and Madrid have expressed their disagreement. Last May 20, Prime Minister Sánchez announced in the inter-territorial council there would be a pandemic law. However, so far this has not happened.  

With a national pandemic law, individual regions no longer need to get approval from the highest court in Spain for every freedom-restricting measure they want to introduce. The Canary Islands’ request to make the Covid passport mandatory for access in public indoor spaces was recently rejected by this judge. However, the Darias Ministry of Health has announced that all regions are free to continue to request permission for the use of the covid passport. 

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