Spain’s Canary Islands approve voluntary use of Covid health pass

The Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands has approved the use of a voluntary Covid pass to enter bars and restaurants.

Bars in Canary Islands can now introduce covid pass
Canary Islands introduces voluntary covid pass. Photo: Ezequiel BECERRA / AFP

The new measure will come into force from December 10th to January 10th, after which the government of the Canary Islands must request permission again to extend it.

Crucially, this new measure is voluntary, meaning that it’s up to individual businesses whether they want to implement the need to show a Covid-19 certificate upon entering the premises or not.

READ ALSO: How to get Spain’s Covid health pass for daily affairs in your region

If establishments do decide to introduce the need to request a certificate however, then you will be required to show one and it will not be up to individuals to decide if they want to show one or not.

The establishments that do request the Covid pass from their clients will have greater benefits in terms of capacity and opening hours, since they will be able to operate without restrictions.

Customers must show a negative Covid test, taken no longer than 48 hours earlier (self-diagnostic tests are not allowed) or an official certificate showing they have received the complete vaccination schedule.

READ ALSO – MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

According to the judges, the measures approved by the Canarian Executive “are proportionate and reasonable”.

The new measure will be applied uniformly throughout the Canary Islands, but judges stated that “a individualised and detailed assessment for each one of the islands will be carried out, adjusting to the circumstances in each geographical area”.

It will create “healthier environments that are safer and less likely to transmit the virus,” they added.

The courts also highlighted that “the weekly cumulative incidence rate of Covid-19 is between two and four times lower among the vaccinated population” and at the same time “the impact of vaccination is not only observed in the incidence of infection, also in its severity”. 

President of the Canary Islands Ángel Víctor Torres described this resolution as “good news” on his Twitter account. “It is a measure with which sectors such as leisure and restaurants agree”, he said. “Christmas is coming: let’s be prudent and deliver.”

The Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands previously rejected a request to introduce Covid certificates last summer and in May 2021 also rejected the reintroduction of the curfew.

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Spain lifts Covid-19 checks at French border

Spanish authorities will no longer request proof of Covid-19 vaccination, testing or recovery from people who enter Spain by land from France.

Spain lifts Covid-19 checks at French border

The news was announced in Spain’s official BOE state bulletin on Wednesday, and will come into effect the following day, on Thursday May 19th 2022.

For the past 26 months, Spanish legislation has allowed border officials to be able to require a Covid health pass from anyone over the age of 12 entering Spain from France by car, train or on foot. 

In reality, Spain’s borders with France haven’t always been manned and Covid-19 health checks haven’t been a constant throughout the pandemic as in the case of air travel, for which Spain still has Covid-19 restrictions for travellers arriving from France. 

READ ALSO: When will Spain get rid of all its Covid-19 travel restrictions?

At times when infection rates were high, border checks on both sides were tightened, or as happened during the summer of 2021, there were tough health checks to enter France but not to enter Spain.

According to Spain’s Health Ministry, the decision to scrap health checks at Spain’s land border with France has been reached given the high levels of vaccination and immunisation achieved in both countries, which has led to a significant decrease in serious Covid-19 cases and deaths.

However, the French Embassy in Spain states that all unvaccinated arrivals in France, including those arriving by land, still have to be able to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test before crossing over into France from Spain, with some exceptions for cross-border workers and urgent matters.

According to Spain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, there are no Covid certificate requirements at the land border between Spain and Portugal