MADRID (AP) — Concerned by an increase in COVID-19 infections, some regional governments of Spain are asking courts to authorize the introduction of virus passports that could help contain the spread of the pandemic.
The governments of the Basque Country, Valencia, Navarra and Catalonia say they are ready to be the first autonomous regions of Spain to introduce COVID-19 passports for people to enter nightclubs, bars, restaurants and some public events. But first they need court approval.
The Basque government’s health minister, Gotzone Sagardui, said on Tuesday that the government will file an official petition with the court this week. If approved, the measure will apply to people 12 years and older who want to enter entertainment venues with music or dance or restaurants with more than 50 diners.
“The trend shows that the pandemic is progressing at a worrying rate of growth,” Sagardui told a news conference. “More than 50% growth in (infection) rates in the past two weeks suggests accelerated growth of 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 inhabitants on Monday. The regions with the highest incidence are Navarra, 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. In total, the country has recorded 87,716 deaths during the pandemic.
Follow all of AP’s stories about the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.