Friday, January 28

Justice demolishes the early closure of nightlife in Cantabria

Justice has overturned the early closure of nightlife in Cantabria after accepting the precautionary measure requested by the Hospitality Association to the resolution of the Ministry of Health on December 3. In an order to which has had access and which has had a private vote, the Superior Court of Justice of Cantabria (TSJC) considers that the restrictive measure “does not exceed the proportionality judgment” and that there is no “relative justification to be indispensable in the existing epidemiological situation “.

In this sense, the Chamber maintains that the established restriction “must yield to the interest of nightlife establishments that reasonably invoke the freedom of business, the right to work and the damages of all kinds – not only economic – that this limitation carries hours at a specific time of year such as Christmas time, when social gatherings are unavoidable. ”

The TSJC also argues that the Administration incurs in “a contradiction” by claiming as a “justification” for the measure what “served to request the authorization to display the COVID certificate, which was said to be directly linked to flexibilizing measures.” The particular vote, for its part, points out the “high constitutional relevance of the general health interest, the functionality of the public health system, the right to health of people and their right to life.” “The hourly limitation is intended to fight the pandemic,” he remarks, after adding that “the economic damage is always repairable, the unfortunate realization of the risk of contagion by COVID may never be.”

The limitation imposed by the autonomous government, which only affected those municipalities that were in the COVID Stoplight with risk levels 1 and 2, had a period of 40 days that began last Friday, December 10 and was intended to prevent, contain and control the COVID pandemic. Therefore, after this car, towns such as Santander, Castro Urdiales, Torrelavega, Laredo or Suances will be able to reopen their establishments until the usual closing time, that is, 04.30 hours for cocktail bars and 06.00 hours for nightclubs.

In this way, the request of the Cantabria Hospitality Business Association (AEHC) has been accepted, although not urgently as requested, and the restriction is suspended on a precautionary basis, among other circumstances, due to the proximity to the Christmas season. And is that one of the objectives, as stated by the hoteliers when presenting the lawsuit, is precisely “to save the party favors”, something they consider “essential” for Cantabrian nightlife.

In this sense, the association also considered the fact that Cantabria is the “only” autonomous community in which the hours of these establishments at Christmas have been restricted as a reason for rescission of the measure. “The conditions that have been provided -the night businesses-, with Co2 meters, ventilation, height of ceilings, dimensions and gauges, allow the activity with the greatest security that any public or private space can gather”, defended the hoteliers a few days ago

This new setback for the autonomous government once again puts Health in the position of appealing or not the order of the Superior Court of Justice of Cantabria and, above all, it marks the future decisions that the Ministry could take in relation to the COVID Stoplight.

It should be remembered that this, together with the COVID passport, are the only limitations that the Executive has ordered during the sixth wave, and that this Friday the Accumulated Incidence to 14 days already reaches 436 points, and hospitals begin to perceive some pressure with 80 hospitalized, of which 20 are in the Intensive Care Unit, which has forced Valdecilla to reorganize to face this wave.

Three blows in 72 hours

This car is the third blow to the Cantabrian Government regarding health measures in just 72 hours. The first of them came on Wednesday, when the judges considered the closure of nightlife imposed in August 2020 null and void. At that time, which was the beginning of the second wave, the Executive made this determination to stop the expansion of COVID- 19 after the return to normality of the summer. However, the Cantabrian Justice considered a few days ago that the right “to free enterprise” is opposed to said measure, in addition to ensuring that “dictating restrictive rules of this right does not reach the faculties or competences of a counselor of an autonomous community “.

On the other hand, on Thursday, the Justice once again agreed with the Hospitality Association declaring the closure of the interior of the premises of November 2020 null and void. In this case, the justification of the judges was based on the unconstitutionality of the state alarm that existed in Spain at that time, as the Constitutional Court ruled in October of this year, thus eliminating the only protection that upheld the rule at the end of last year.