Friday, January 28

The arrival of the Supreme Court ruling allows the entry into force of the COVID passport in Euskadi on the bridge


The Supreme Court has already made public the complete sentence that validates the application in Euskadi of the COVID passport, which includes a dissenting opinion of one of the five magistrates of the fourth section of the contentious-administrative chamber. Although the ruling was already known since this Tuesday, this is the procedure that the Government of Iñigo Urkullu was waiting for to sign the order that regulates the use of this vaccination certificate (or negative diagnostic test) and that it can take effect on the bridge . The high court, in fact, sees that it is not “unreasonable” that it could be in force throughout the territory and not only in the areas of greatest incidence, a nuance that it modifies with respect to the previous ruling on the case of Galicia. The measure, in any case, is limited in its current formulation to times when the incidence rate in Euskadi exceeds 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, although now it is practically four times higher on average and is close to 1,000 in the province of Gipuzkoa.

Euskadi already activates the health emergency for the third time in the pandemic

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The specific measure will consist -as the Basque Executive explained at the time- in the exhibition on paper or in digital format of the QR certificate to be able to access “establishments designed to offer the public leisure and dance activities”, which are discos, lounges dance halls, nightclubs, music bars, karaoke bars and, in general, all type III and IV establishments, which according to current regulations in the Basque Country would also oblige “erotic entertainment establishments”. Pubs and bars that have ordinary activities and then offer nightlife would have to claim their passport from 10pm. Likewise, the measure would be extended to restaurants with dining rooms with more than 50 seats. The plan would be in force as long as the Basque Country has a cumulative incidence rate of more than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, an indicator that this Monday stood at 471. The passport can be obtained after having received the complete vaccination schedule. or with a negative diagnostic test. The mere possibility of it being implemented multiplied by eleven the requests for this document.

The Supreme Court clearly amends the initial negative resolution of the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country (TSJPV) – which it refers to as “the Bilbao room” – and remarks that asking for this passport in certain leisure venues does not imply violating rights such as those of meeting, cultural creation or even that of the free development of the personality. It is explained that the regulations provided for by the Basque Government “present the characteristics of adequacy, necessity and proportionality” to “preserve health and reduce the vital risks that the pandemic entails”, parameters that also fit with the previous doctrine of the Supreme Court itself about Galicia. This ruling would be the second on the same matter in the same direction, which the legal tradition supposes the creation of jurisprudence and would clarify the criteria for other similar requests from Andalusia, for example.

Sources from the Basque Executive confirm that, upon receipt of the official notification, Sagardui will sign the pertinent order and it will come into force in full force this Saturday at the start of the bridge. Euskadi thus joins other communities such as Catalonia or Navarra, which already require it. It is a parallel process to the declaration of the health emergency and constitution, also this Friday, of the crisis table (Labi) that has the power to adopt new restrictions, something not foreseen at this time although the justifying orders of the emergency allude to the “Urgent need” for measures to control an escalation of COVID-19 cases. Likewise, Urkullu has already expressed his desire to again request judicial authorization to expand this initial package of activities subject to COVID passport control, although what he is thinking about has not been specified.

A particular vote spoils the management of Urkullu

What does the private vote say? The magistrate Antonio Jesús Fonseca considers that the Superior’s veto of the Urkullu plan should have been ratified. He assures that it is not possible to argue at the same time that vaccination reduces infections and to pretend to establish controls with more than 90% of those vaccinated protected. He denounces that the Basque Administration, in its supporting reports, “does not care and occupies itself” with “highlighting” why the “epidemiological situation” is similar to that of Galicia when the Supreme Court gave the green light to a similar measure. And it ugly for Urkullu that it is contradictory to have lifted the health emergency and not to have recovered it while he considered it imperative to control infections by requesting authorization for the COVID passport.

“Obviously, nobody disputes that the measure is adequate, in general, to prevent the transmission of any disease. [Pero] It is not justified why the measure is necessary when there are, with total clarity, other less harmful ones, such as, without a doubt, those that the Administration itself adopted in previous and more serious situations. […] It is not justified why this measure is now the only possible “, he points out. And he warns that” there is also no justification of any kind “why a passport is requested in some places and not in others” similar or with similar problems. ” Further argument, this magistrate emphasizes that it is not lawful to request a passport when no one is obliged to be vaccinated or to undergo a test.





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