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Canary Islands introduce Covid passports for pubs and clubs over Christmas and New Year 

The Canary Islands have become the latest Spanish holiday hotspot to require everyone who wants to get into big pubs, restaurants or clubs to show a Covid-free certificate.

The islands, which include the British favourites of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, have followed the example of other locations such as Valencia and the Balearics.

The measure comes into force on December 10th and will have an initial validity of one month, until January 10th, and will be subject to monitoring and evaluation. If deemed necessary, an extension may be requested beyond January 10th.

Health chiefs say the local situation warrants the move but they are also very conscious of the fact that winter is the high tourist season for the Canaries because of the good weather and there will be a big influx of holidaymakers. 

“The use of the COVID certificate allows the sectors that apply it to relax the restrictions in terms of capacity and hours that are in force at all times according to the alert level in which the corresponding island is located, since they will be able to benefit from the measures of the level lower,” said a spokesman for the Canary government.

The Ministry of Health move has been backed by the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands which could have thrown the requirement out if it wished.

Health officials said showing Covid passports was necessary due to increasing cases of coronavirus and pressure on intensive care beds. 

“The implementation of the COVID certificate aims to articulate a procedure that is respectful of fundamental rights and with a minimal impact on the private sphere of citizens, since it is permissive rather than restrictive, although it maintains the due guarantees for public health,” said the government spokesman.

According to the approval issued by the TSJC “the measures are proportionate and reasonable, resulting in that the benefit obtained for the general interest is greater than the damage caused to the goods or values ​​in conflict”.

Minister of Health, Blas Trujillo, said: “It is intended that the flexibility of the indicated measures is carried out in sanitary safe spaces in relation to the spread of the virus.”

“It is about protecting people’s health and lives through a measure that restricts the spread of the pandemic. It cannot be considered a discriminatory measure, insofar as the right to life and the protection of public health prevail, since the information on whether the vaccine has been received or not, at times when a pandemic is going through, is a basic and essential piece to prevent the spread of the infection by SARS – CoV-2 “

The Canary Islands Health Service will make available to citizens a mobile app for reading the QR code of the EU Digital COVID Certificate that is easy to use for the measure to be effective.

This app, called the COVID SCS Reader, can be downloaded from the Apple Store, Google Play and Huawei App Gallery stores in the coming days. In the next few hours this system will also be available on the web www.lectorcovid.com.