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COVID-19 HEALTH PASS

Spain’s Andalusia and Valencia regions extend Covid health pass requirement

The Spanish regions of Andalusia and Valencia are extending the Covid-19 passport requirement for entry into some public venues until at least January 31st, their regional governments have announced.

Covid health pass bar spain
Many of the Covid health pass requirements in Spain's regions are due to expire, but will they follow the Valencia region and Andalusia's example and extend its use? Photo: ANDER GILLENEA / AFP

The regions of Andalusia and Valencia are extending the Covid-19 passport requirement to gain access to the inside of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, celebrations, large events, hospitals and care homes for at least another two weeks.

Providing the Covid-19 vaccination certificate or a negative test – PCR within 72 hours or antigen within 48 – will continue to be required for entry into hospitality and nightlife establishments as well as for visits to hospitals and nursing homes.

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

Valencia region

The Generalitat – Valencia’s regional government – will maintain the Covid-19 passport mandate until at least the end of the month, and comes as part of broader moves to combat Spain’s so-called sixth wave of the pandemic which includes the the mandatory use of the mask (even outdoors when the social distancing cannot be observed) and the limit of ten people at tables inside bars and restaurants.

As to whether the regional government will further extend the requirement at the end of the month, it would need approval by the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community (TSJCV), which has, up until now, always backed the Generalitat and approved restrictions. 

Judging by case numbers, a further extension is plausible.

This week the Valencian Community broke its record for daily coronavirus infections with 16,611 positives. However, it is worth noting that both the number of hospitalisations and deaths have fallen dramatically thanks to Spain’s high vaccine uptake. 

Andalusia

In Andalusia the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA) is also expected to ratify the extension to the end of the month.

The regional government there – La Junta – believe that although vaccination rates are high, like they are across the rest of Spain, the increase in cases during the sixth wave – particularly of the new, highly infectious Omicron strain, of which cases numbers have accelerated exponentially across the region in the last three weeks – has put all of Andalusia’s health districts at the ‘very high’ risk level. 

Therefore the extension to vaccination pass requirements for entry into hospitality and care homes is, according to La Junta, ‘necessary, suitable and proportionate’ and in line with the developing epidemiological situation.

Valencia and Andalusia are not alone, however. Regions across the rest of Spain are also facing an uptick in cases and considering their measures, with extensions expected: in the Balearic Islands, the Covid passport is required at nursing homes, nightlife venues, restaurants, and bars with a capacity of over 50 people. This will remain in effect until 24 January. 

MAP: Which regions in Spain still require a Covid pass for daily affairs?

How about in Spain’s other regions?

In Catalonia the Covid pass is required to access bars and restaurants but not on terraces, gyms, large events in enclosed spaces and nursing homes. Many nightlife venues are currently closed, but when they reopen Covid passes will most likely be required. As things currently stand, the use of health passes are mandated across the region until January 20th, but an extension is likely.

In Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, and La Rioja, however, the regional governments do not believe it is necessary for Covid passes or other restrictions yet. In Castilla y León, a ruling for use of Covid passes at hotels and hospitals is pending. 

Madrid has not mandated any vaccination restrictions or limitations on capacity, but face masks are required in all high-contact areas including nightclubs and public transport. 

Murcia does not require a Covid pass at bars and restaurants with capacity limits, but nightlife venues that use vaccine certificates may operate at full capacity. 

In Aragón, the passport is used at nightlife venues and large-scale public events. The regional court has received no complaints or protests from the hospitality sector until now, so the requirement is expected to continue and be extended.

In Asturias the regional court has not ruled on Covid passes but has also not denied the possibility of implementing them in the future. 

Barring a last minute change, Covid-19 vaccination passes will no longer be required in the Canary Island from January 15th.

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TRAVEL NEWS

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

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