The Galician regional government, in the north of Spain, is set to approve a bill to punish those who refuse to be vaccinated, not only against Covid but against any other future virus, with a fine of up to 60,000 euros.
The legislation does not have the approval of the central government, which, although it supports encouraging mass inoculation by all means, believes that this proposal to modify the Health Law violates fundamental rights and contradicts national regulations. This opinion is shared by opposition parties as well as by numerous lawyers.
The original text, put before the chamber last November, suggested that the refusal to be immunised constitutes, as a general rule, a "minor offence", punishable by a fine of between 1,000 and 3,000 euros.
However, the new text opens the door for it to be considered as a serious offence, and therefore fined between 3,000 and 60,000 euros, when the refusal to be vaccinated "may pose a risk or serious damage to the health of the population".
The bill in the Galician parliament is the response of president Alberto Núñez Feijóo, one of the regional leaders who have decreed more restrictive measures against the pandemic, to Spain's national government's refusal to study a reform of the health law to sanction vaccine deniers and take a tougher line with people who do not comply with directives to stop the spread of the virus.