A vaccination certificate at a bar in the Basque Country. / EFE

Supreme Court gives green light to 'Covid passport' in Spain when the incidence rate exceeds 150

The country's top court has now established a criteria that can serve as a guide to other regions that ask for the vaccination certificate requirement to be introduced

ÁLVARO SOTO

Spain’s national Supreme Court considers that the implementation of the ‘Covid passport’ in a region or a particular area is justified, when the 14-day coronavirus cumulative incidence rate is above 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

This is reflected in the ruling, just released, in which it endorses the request of the Basque Government to implement the coronavirus control measure after the Superior Court of Justice of Euskadi rejected it in a previous ruling .

In its judgement, the Supreme Court considers that "it is not unreasonable" to extend the use of the vaccination certificate in a region like the Basque Country "provided that a contagion level equal to or greater than 150 per 100,000 inhabitants is reached" because "we are seeing a generalised increase in infections, especially pronounced in the Basque Country.”

"Suitable, necessary and proportionate"

In its first ruling on the ‘Covid passport’, on 14 September, following a request from the Xunta de Galicia, the Supreme Court agreed that it was a "suitable, necessary and proportionate" measure to prevent new infections, temporarily and in case of high risk of transmission, although at that time it did not specify what specific situation or incidence rate was considered as "high risk of contagion".

Now, it is reaffirming that ruling, but also, establishing a cumulative incidence rate level that can serve as a guide to regions that are thinking about implementing the ‘passport’ and that fear that they will be rejected by their higher courts of justice.

"Less aggressive"

Thus, according to the Supreme Court, the ‘Covid passport’ is “an adequate measure to prevent the transmission of the disease; a necessary measure because it is less aggressive than others and does not significantly affect the possibility of access to said establishments or, of course, the activity they carry out; and a measure that is proportionate because it serves to preserve health and reduce the risk to life that the pandemic entails, while having a slight impact on the rights to equality and privacy.”

In the ruling, the Supreme Court continues "the very high number of people vaccinated is not preventing the increase in infections. It is not known for how long their immunisation will be effective and there is no doubt that there are enough non-vaccinated people over 12 years old enough to facilitate the spread of the virus and, therefore, of the disease not only among themselves”.