MISE & Agrave; DAY
Believing to be safe from a new wave of COVID-19 thanks to a high vaccination rate, Spain had so far abandoned the health passport. But the increase in cases is pushing more and more regions to implement it.
In this highly decentralized country, the government of socialist Pedro Sanchez has always rejected the idea of a national health passport, as in France or Italy, and left the file in the hands of the autonomous communities, competent in health matters.
If the requirement of such proof of vaccination or negative test had until now been limited in particular to the discotheques of the Balearic Islands, Catalonia or Galicia, its implementation has accelerated this week.
Aragon has been demanding it since Thursday in nightlife establishments or for important gatherings such as banquets, while Navarre has received the green light from the courts to implement it from Saturday. & Nbsp;
< p> Catalonia had it extended since Friday to bars and restaurants as well as sports halls and retirement homes, but had to “temporarily” suspend its application due to computer problems to download the passport. & nbsp;
Several other regions consider it like Castile and Leon or are, like the region of Valencia or Andalusia, awaiting the authorization of the justice because of the restriction of fundamental freedoms that supposes the requirement of a passport.
An obstacle that the Basque Country did not manage to cross Monday, the court of this region of northern Spain having considered that such a measure imposed “without discrimination was not justified”, given “the very high rate vaccination ”. & nbsp;
While the incidence of COVID-19 in this region is one of the highest in the country, local authorities have filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, the most high judicial body of the country, which in September had validated, not without reservations, the request of another region, Galicia.
According to Lorenzo Cotino, professor of constitutional law at the University of Valencia, these legal uncertainties which “aggravate the situation” and complicate the management of the health crisis are due to the fact that Spain has not adopted dedicated legislation since start of the pandemic, “unlike almost all countries in the European Union”.
Even if the Supreme Court has already admitted, in the case of Galicia, that “the health passport can be implemented despite our bad legislation”, this ex-magistrate fears that the doubts relating to its impact on fundamental freedoms will loom large. 'prevail if it had to be imposed, for example, to go to work as in Italy.
Avoid more severe restrictions & nbsp;
For Magda Campins , head of the scientific committee advising the Catalan regional government, the purpose of the health passport is “to avoid more restrictive measures that disrupt our daily life much more and the activity of the establishments to which they are imposed” as a confinement.
Spared until early November by the new wave of Covid-19 affecting Europe, Spain, where the vaccination rate reaches nearly 90% of those over 12, suddenly saw the number of cases increase. days. & nbsp;
A resumption of the epidemic that has not yet made itself felt in hospitals where only 6% of intensive care beds are occupied by COVID patients.
< p>While the health restrictions have provoked demonstrations in France or Italy, even riots in the Netherlands, nothing like it in Spain even if the health passport is not unanimous.
“Let the things are clear for the regional caciques: we refuse that the health passport constitutes a ground of discrimination between Spaniards and we will lodge appeals in front of the courts when necessary “, warned the party of extreme right Vox, third political force of the country .
If restaurateurs prefer the passport to an outright closure, they are worried about “the difficulties of implantation” because of the staff needed for controls and the impact on customers, according to employers' organization CEHE.