Updated: Aug 25, 2021
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Andalucian government cannot justify introducing Covid passports.
The Andalucian government has sought to introduce Covid-19 vaccine passports as a requirement for citizens to enter bars, restaurants and nightclubs, however, the Supreme Court has prevented this by blocking the measure.
The government hoped to use a Covid passport to control entry to hotels and other venues across Andalucia, although the Supreme Court ruled that the proposed rule “does not pass the proportionality test” and that it shows a “justification deficit.”
This ruling means that the citizens of Andalucia will not be required to show a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test which was taken in the last 72 hours to gain entry to nightclubs, bars and other public venues. These measures were requested by the government of Moreno Bonilla, but the Supreme Court decided to overturn the request.
The decision was concluded on two main arguments. The first is that the measure is not sufficiently justified, as for the measure to be justified the Andalucian government would have to prove “that the so-called fifth wave originates precisely in nightlife venues.”
Additionally, the second argument is one of being proportionate. The measure was intended to apply “over a large territory and in very different situations.” If implemented, this would have meant that the measure would have been used across the whole of Andalucia, and the local coronavirus situation within each territory would not be considered. Therefore, the proposed measure failed the proportionality test.
If the measure was introduced, it would have hit the hospitality sector without proof that the main source of Covid infections came from this sector.
20 Minutos, a Spanish newspaper, reported on the ruling by the Supreme Court: “Finally, the court argues that it is not possible to restrict the fundamental rights of citizens with a preventive measure such as the ‘covid passport’: ‘It is not a measure that is punctually indispensable to safeguard public health (…), but rather a preventive measure when it happens that, for the restriction of fundamental rights, mere considerations of prudence or precaution are not sufficient.”
Covid-19 vaccine passports have already been introduced in many European Union countries such as France, Greece, Italy and Germany. Recently, vaccine passports were implemented in New York City in the United States under the “Key to NYC.” The passport will require New Yorkers to prove their vaccination status to gain entry to venues such as restaurants, theaters, stadiums and gyms.
In the UK, vaccine passports have only been introduced for international travel, however, the government has stated that from September proof of vaccination will be required for entry to nightclubs and large events such as festivals and concerts.
It seems as though these vaccine passports are set to be a way of life in the very near future…