The lack of a legal framework causes another regional chaos with the covid passport

The lack of political and technical criteria common, and the different interpretations of justice return to wreak havoc in the autonomous communities regarding the measures to face the pandemic, this time regarding the use of the covid passport. The Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of the Basque Country struck down on Monday the possibility of requiring a passport for nightlife, claiming that it would imply a limitation of fundamental rights. Meanwhile, in three other communities, Galicia, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, This document is already required in certain circumstances. In the midst of the confusion, the Ministry of Health indicates that the decision corresponds to the Supreme Court, while the PP demands that the Government not look the other way and set a joint position.

The situation is reminiscent of that produced a year ago, when the measures that the communities wanted to apply were left to the discretion of the different Courts of Justice of the Communities, which ended up imposing different criteria and joins the decisions of the Constitutional Court annulling the legal instruments used by the Government of Pedro Sánchez. Then and now it was explained that the lack of a global legal framework causes this situation of chaos.

With Europe plunged into a sixth wave that has already forced countries such as Austria or Germany to impose confinements on the population, the incidence data of the coronavirus in Spain has also been worsening in recent weeks to the point that there are already several regions who have been asking the Ministry of Health for days for a single position to implement that vaccination certificate to access certain spaces or mass events.

According to Rafael Ojeda, the president of the Seville medical union, explains to El Periódico de España, there are really experts who have doubts about the effectiveness of the document. “No matter how small the effect it may have, it will always be beneficial, if you avoid contact with unvaccinated people with those who are,” he says.

The virologist Estanislao Nistal explains “that being vaccinated does not prevent us from becoming infected or contagious, even for a shorter period of time & rdquor ;. “The impact on the chain of transmission is less the greater the number of people vaccinated & rdquor ;, he adds, but he believes that it would be important for policy makers to be sincere when pointing to the need for a covid passport. “I understand that it is a tool to raise awareness & rdquor ;, to encourage those who are not yet vaccinated to do so, but in his opinion,” it cannot be used as an argument that will help prevent infections because only the vaccine does not guarantee it. ”

The face mask It is still one of the best tools to avoid contagion, he insists, and that should be the goal. Something similar points Juan José Badiola, Director of the Center for Emerging Communicable Diseases at the University of Zaragoza. “The important thing is to be aware that the virus is still there and that it takes every opportunity to stay and spread. The mask is uncomfortable, just like social distance, but they are effective in avoiding contagion, as it is avoid crowds or closed spaces and we are forgetting that. Many of the infections that we are having have to do with individual carelessness. “

In this sense, he agrees with Nistal that the purpose of certifying vaccination in closed spaces, as intended by the covid passport, can help, but the vaccine, he insists, does not offer absolute protection. “In any case, it is important to remember that a high percentage of those who are still not vaccinated are minors and not all of them go to the places where they are expected to request a passport,” he says.

Catalonia wants to expand its use

This Monday, the communities have notified Health 15,875 new infections of covid-19, of which almost 2,000 were diagnosed over the weekend. The cumulative incidence in the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants stands at 132.19, compared to 111.95 on Friday. With these data of incessant rise and the doors of Christmas, some communities are already considering expanding the use of the covid passport.

On Galicia, Balearic Islands and Catalonia it is already required for nightlife, but this last autonomy I now want to extend to closed spaces where events are held, such as theaters and cinemas. In Galicia, on the contrary, the TSJ of Galicia has authorized them to demand it in hostels and hospital companions and they are now working on the possibility of requesting it also for the hotel industry. Any of these extensions, sources from the regional executive explain, will first go through the judges filter.

Ayuso, against the passport

The situation is very different in other communities. At the gates of a sixth wave of infections, the leaders of the different autonomous governments have spoken in recent days about their iinterest, rejection or doubts about the covid passport application. Many of them would like to apply it but find, again, that their measures can be overturned by the courts. Others, with the Madrid’s community at the head, they deny that it is necessary to demand it at this time due to the incidence and, above all, the high percentage of vaccination, which is why they demand that it be the Ministry of Health who coordinates a national strategy and that is debated and approved in the inter-territorial council.

Isabel Díaz Ayuso said yesterday in an interview on RTVE that the Community does not have on the table at this time the debate on the covid passport. Your health counselor, Enrique Ruiz Escudero placeholder image, pointed out just a few days ago that this matter had to be raised in another way, with a “homogeneous action of the communities”. On Murcia, Fernando Lopez Miras, followed the same line, criticizing the lack of initiative of the Government of Pedro Sánchez for not establishing a single criterion: “That he simply does what they are doing in the rest of the world and what his colleagues in France, Italy or Germany have done, to give just one example “.

In other regions like Estremadura and Asturias They have also spoken out against the use of the vaccination document to access certain places of leisure or public events, arguing, in general terms, the same as Madrid. They do not consider it necessary.

And there are communities that have not even spoken about it. It is the case of Ceutto. According to the president of the Autonomous City’s College of Physicians, Enrique Roviralta, explains to El Periódico de España, “there is no talk about it here. That is to say, it is not requested and it is not heard that it is going to be implanted.”

Justice Earrings

But above all, many regions rebel before the impotence that generates lack of legal certainty. To communities like Andalusia, Valencia, Aragon, La Rioja, Navarra or Melilla They are not bothered by the idea that the passport may be mandatory in certain places, but all of them are waiting for the Supreme Court of their respective territories to pronounce themselves.

On Andalusia, for example, they explain that already in August the TSJA knocked down the proposal to require the vaccination document in discos or nightlife venues, so now, they want it mainly for hospitals and residences (and in the future for mass events) , they will not implement it until the court rules about the query that they are going to raise soon.

The problem lies in the proportionality of the measures requested from the courts, explains the magistrate Ignacio Vera. If the regional governments do not sufficiently justify the limitation of fundamental rights, it will be difficult for the courts to agree, he adds.

“In the territorial council common measures and criteria can be agreed for the autonomous communities, but they will only be binding for them, not for the TSJ,” explains the magistrate, who insists that only one lhey organic It could help the regional courts to have the same criteria: “The pressure of the healthcare system and the incidence may be common criteria, but the limits for a court to be able to grasp it must necessarily be set out in a law”.

In his opinion, it is not unreasonable to ask for a passport to visit vulnerable people or entering hospitalsNor is it required in leisure venues where physical contact can be greater and facilitate contagion, but “the fundamental thing is that the requested measures are well justified so that the courts can accept the proportionality of the measures.”

Key dates

In short, there are a dozen communities willing to demand a passport in certain circumstances before the fear that the incidence may continue to rise in the coming days and aware that the evolution of the contagion curve in the coming weeks (with the December bridge in between) may condition the restrictions of these next Christmas. But all of them require a legal umbrella that allows them to do so.

That dates are key This is demonstrated, among others, by the statements made yesterday from the governments of Aragon and Valencia. Ximo Puig reported that his Government is also working on a proposal to implement the passport in the Levantine community and trusted that the answer will arrive before the Constitution bridge to be able to demand it on those dates in which the influx of people increases.

On Aragon, for its part, the Minister of Health of the Government of Aragon, Sira Ripollés, reported that the autonomous government is studying the formulas to implement the passport before the Christmas celebrations after the resolution of the TSJA. The Aragonese government had asked to establish this certificate in nightlife, celebrations and events of more than five hundred people indoors, but the regional court has asked the Government and the Prosecutor’s Office to present their allegations to a possible issue of unconstitutionality, for which they have a period of 10 days.

“What (the TSJA) has said is that it has not ruled on the matter because it has considered that the state law that decides that it is they who have to decide or decide on the measures that the health authorities propose is unconstitutional,” Ripollés pointed out. Now, the counselor added, the community is studying the court’s decision and seeing how to implement the measures that are considered necessary to control the pandemic. For the moment, Ripollés discarded to be applied new restrictions, beyond maintaining hygienic measures and intensifying positive contact tracing.

Healing points to the Supreme

From the Ministry of Health, consulted by El Periódico de España, they once again insist on what the head of the department declared, Carolina Darias, just a few days ago when, given the rise in incidence, there was already a clamor among the communities for a common strategy for the implementation of this document.

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From Health they influence: “It is not a matter of Health, but of the Supreme one that has marked the path & rdquor;

Darias pointed out that the Supreme court has been manifested indicating that the ‘covid passport’ would be justified in certain territorial areas during “a limited space and if the epidemiological situation demanded it & rdquor ;. There is an open path and that is for the regional health authority, depending on their situation, to request it following the guideline established by the Supreme Court, the minister said. From Health they influence: “It is not a matter of Health, but of the Supreme one that has marked the way & rdquor ;.

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