EXPLAINED: Where in Spain COVID passports are required and for what activities

SPAIN’S central government has not introduced a nationwide policy concerning COVID health passes and whether they should be required to enter certain establishments or to carry out certain activities.

Instead regional authorities in each of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions have to take the decision and then seek court approval.

Currently eight regions in Spain have taken this route, as they see it as a way of controlling a rise in infections without having to impose unpopular new restrictions in the run up to Christmas.

But to make matters even more complicated, rules are different in each territory.

Here’s a breakdown of everything we know so far in those regions where it has been imposed.

The regions of Galicia, the Basque Country, Navarra, Aragon, Catalunya, Valencia and the Balearic Islands have all made Covid passports compulsory for entry into certain zones including bars and restaurants, night clubs.

Murica has introduced a Covid pass scheme that is not compulsory but has been adopted by many establishments throughout the region.

Cantabria and Andalucia and the Canary Islands are awaiting final decisions from the courts to determine whether such rules will be imposed.

This map by Spanish broadcaster COPE provides the latest.

Breakdown for Covid passport rules in each region as follows:

Catalunya

Covid certificates are necessary to enter bars and restaurants as well as nightclubs, music venues and any indoor venues where celebrations are being held such as weddings. Health passes but also be shown to enter gyms and sports centres. Those wanting to visit nursing homes must also show the pass.

Basque Country

The health pass is required in nightclubs and nursing homes, and on December 2nd high court judges approved its requirement for access to indoor areas in bars, restaurants and gyms, although no date has been determined for when it will come into force.

Galicia

The northwestern region was the first in Spain to impose Covid passport requirements for those visiting hospitals and residential homes, nightclubs and for overnight stays at pilgrim hostels.

That measure has now been extended to include restaurants at all times of the day and in bars and cafes from 9pm.

Aragon

Since November 26 the health pass has been compulsory to enter nightclubs, big events in bars and restaurants, weddings, baptisms, first communions and events of over 500 people indoors and 1000 outdoors.

Valencian Community

The rules come into force on Saturday December 4 and require Covid passes to shown in order to enter hostelry or nightlife venues with a capacity for over 50 people.

It is also required by anyone wishing to visit elderly residential homes and hospitals.

READ MORE: Where you will need to show the COVID passport in the Costa Blanca and Valencia areas of Spain

Murcia

The regional government in Murcia has introduced a COVID passport on a voluntary basis, that is to be imposed by nightlife venues if they want to operate at full capacity. Those establishments that do not require covid passes can only allow 75% of the maximum occupancy.

Navarre

The region of Navarre requires a health certificate to enter restaurants with over 60 diners as well as nightclubs (venues with a dance floor) and venues where large scale celebrations are being held as well as any cultural or sporting events held indoors with more than 1,000 people present.

Authorities are currently considering extending the measure to residential and elderly care homes.

Balearic Islands

From Friday a health pass is now required to enter bars, restaurants, nightclubs as well as nursing homes and gyms.

READ MORE: COVID health pass will be required for night out in Spain’s Balearic Islands

Andalucia

Authorities in Andalucia have requested that the regional high court approve the Covid health pass for hospitals and nursing homes.  The regional government says that it will then decide whether to introduce the requirement for entry into bars, restaurants and nightclub venues as well as cultural and sporting events.

The decision will be made depending on the evolution of coronavirus infections.

Coronavirus Mon Oct 18, 2020
The Covid passport scheme includes a QR code that can be scanned. Photo: Cordon Press

What is a Covid passport?

Sometimes called a Covid Passport, it is also refered to as a Certificado Digital Covid in Spanish and shows proof that you have been vaccinated.

It can be downloaded via an APP on your mobile phone or printed off to carry around but it must contain a QR code which can be scanned.

If you were vaccinated within Spain, then you can access your certificate through the regional health authority where you live and it is the same document that is needed when you travel abroad.  

Those who have been vaccinated outside Spain should be able to use the same Covid pass they were required to show to get into the country, such as the NHS Covid pass issued in the UK.

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