SUR

Region's top court rejects the Junta's 'Covid passport' request to access health facilities and residential homes, for now

The door is open for the Andalusian regional government to present the request again, after the TSJA only refused to ratify it because it did not stipulate a time period limit

Héctor Barbotta
HÉCTOR BARBOTTA

The top court in Andalucía has refused to ratify the Junta’s request to make it mandatory to present proof of vaccination, often referred to as a 'Covid passport', for access to health facilities and residential homes in the region.

Despite considering that the measure proposed by the Junta de Andalucía complies with the requirements of proportionality, necessity and suitability and that there is little restriction of fundamental rights, it did not ratify the request as it does not have a time limitation on its validity.

The TSJA ruled that "in the event that the Court ratifies the order in the terms in which it has been presented, it would have a totally indefinite duration and it would be beyond the control of its proportionality, necessity and suitability."

The court decided that although the measure is currently justified, the evolution of the pandemic “may lead to the fact that in a certain period it ceases to meet the previously stated requirements, therefore, a restriction of fundamental rights would be prolonged in time without sufficient justification”.

The summary added that "the Junta de Andalucía may immediately re-submit a new request for ratification, if an adequate time limitation is added, without prejudice to a subsequent extension by this Court."

The regional government had asked for the requirement of a Covid-19 certificate or negative diagnostic test in people who go to health facilities and residential homes to prevent the spread of infections and, consequently, an outbreak among the most vulnerable people. The Junta said there is no discrimination between those vaccinated and those who are not, since they could present the vaccination certificate, the result of an antigen test or the Covid-19 recovery certificate if they had overcome the infection.

The Court decided "the obligation is not excessive in the context of the current pandemic" and considers it necessary because its purpose is "to immediately reduce the rising rate of infections" especially in those centres where there are people who potentially have an increased risk of disease transmission.