Court rejects Andalusian government's bid to apply Covid passport rule to bars and restaurants

The region's highest court - TSJA - considers that while the measure is necessary and appropriate, it fails to meet "proportionality" requirements, as it would have to be applied to everyone, including staff

EP

The Andalusian Supreme Court (TSJA) has decided not to ratify the regional authority's request to make a Covid passport obligatory to access establishments in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

The Junta de Andalucía proposed the measure, which would affect bars, restaurants and nightclubs among other businesses, on Thursday last week after a meeting with its committee of experts to review the Covid-19 situation in the region.

This Wednesday (15 December) the court has said that while the measure complies with requirements in terms of necessity and suitability, it fails to meet the proportionality requirement since the order, with its current wording, would have to be applied to "any person" who accesses the interior of an establishment, which would include the staff.

The court said, however, that there was no doubt as to the "proportionality" of the request in the case of customers, "bearing in mind that access would be totally voluntary and with the intention of receiving a service that is not essential".

It explains, therefore, that there is a chance for the regional government to request a ratification again, if the order is modified so it applies only to customers.

The TSJA stressed that according to the order submitted by the Junta, a Covid passport would be required from anyone wanting to access the interior of establishments, "independently of their reasons for going in".

Therefore, it said, it would have to be applied to all members of staff, even if taken on temporarily. It considers that the rule would not be "proportional" for staff who would be obliged to be vaccinated to be able to go to work - despite it not being obligatory in this country - or they would have to provide a negative test every 48 to 72 hours in order to access their workplace while the measure is in force.