There’s good news for those opposed to the requirement to produce a Covid Passport in order to access bars, restaurants, and other public locations in Spain: this measure is set to be scrapped in both Andalucia and Valencia. In Andalucia, the measure was removed on Tuesday 15th February, with the announcement being made just days earlier by the region’s Minister of Health Jesus Aguirre. In a statement, Mr. Aguirre announced that “In Andalucía, on the 14th, the extension of the TSJA for the Covid passport is fulfilled. We are not going to ask for a renewal. Immediately, the obligation to present the Covid passport will end. The incidence rate is going down and hospital pressure is too. In one week, hospital pressure has fallen by 600.”
With covid cases falling in the region, and across Spain in general, here’s everything you need to know about the removal of the requirements to use covid passports in both Andalucia and Valencia:
Covid Passports Are No Longer Needed in Andalucia
Covid passports were first introduced on 20th December, in response to the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant and the household mixing expected by many Spaniards over the Christmas period. However, following a wide-reaching and successful vaccination campaign, both case numbers and hospital admissions have dropped significantly in Andalucia. Two weeks ago, there were 2,213 individuals with coronavirus in need of hospital care in the region, but now that figure stands at just 1,508.
In terms of infection rates, Andalucia has lower rates than any other region in Spain. Per 100,000 citizens, there are only 583 recorded cases of coronavirus at any given time. The region with the highest rates is Murcia which has 2,189 per 100,000 citizens.
Covid Passports Scrapped in Valencia
A similar decision has been made in Valencia, where the regional president Ximo Puig has also announced that covid passports will be scrapped in the region. This change will be introduced later than in Andalucia, coming into force on 1st March. In an official statement, Mr. Puig announced that: "If things continue to go the way they are going, we will continue to see a massive decrease in the number of infections. We are doing well and the government's intention is that there be no restrictions beyond the necessary time.”
Whilst cases are very low in Andalucia, Valencia boasts one of the highest incidence rates of coronavirus in Spain. On 11th February there were 2,041 cases per 100,000 citizens. For context, the national average is 1,461.
Other Coronavirus Changes
The scrapping of covid passports in Andalucia and Valencia aren’t the only changes you can expect to see this month. From 10th February the requirement to wear face masks outside in Spain was also removed, although in confined and indoors areas they are still required.
The Omicron variant has been prevalent in Spain, as it has been across much of Europe, but hospital admissions due to this variant are steadily falling, and 91% of the Spanish population over the age of 12 is now fully vaccinated against Coronavirus. These vaccination figures should prevent Spain from experiencing another wave and help the country to return to a version of pre-covid ‘normality’.
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