Spanish regions consider COVID-19 passports amid wave of infections – MyStateline.com

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FILE – A man waits after receiving the Pfizer vaccine, during a COVID-19 vaccination campaign, in Pamplona, ​​northern Spain, on May 11, 2021. The pandemic roars again in parts of Western Europe, a prosperous region with relatively high vaccination rates and good healthcare systems, but where lockdown measures to bring the virus under control are largely a thing of the past. Spain, once one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, has now vaccinated 88% of its population aged 12 and over. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos, file)

MADRID (AP) – Worried about an increase in COVID-19 infections, some Spanish regional governments are asking courts to allow the introduction of anti-virus passports that can help control the spread of the pandemic.

The governments of the Basque Country, Valencia, Navarre and Catalonia say they are ready to be the first autonomous regions in Spain to introduce COVID-19 passports for people to enter nightclubs, bars, restaurants and some public events. But first they need permission from the court.

Basque government health minister Gotzone Sagardui said on Tuesday that the administration would file a formal petition in court this week. If approved, the measure will apply to people 12 years of age and over who wish to enter nightlife establishments offering music or dancing or restaurants with more than 50 diners.

“The trend shows that the pandemic is progressing at an alarming rate of growth,” Sagardui said at a press conference. “More than 50% growth in (infection) rates over the past two weeks suggests accelerated growth in the pandemic. “

The head of the regional government of Valencia, Ximo Puig, announced a similar decision on Monday.

A COVID-19 passport shows that a person has been vaccinated against the virus.

Spain officially reported 82 cases per 100,000 population on Monday. The regions with the highest incidence are Navarre, with 203 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and the Basque Country, with 174.

In the past seven days, 85 people have died from COVID-19 in Spain. Overall, the country has recorded 87,716 deaths from the pandemic.

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Edward K. Thompson