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.
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.
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.
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.