Restaurant terrace, Palma. | A.B.

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The Balearic Government has asked the court to expand the use of Covid Passports to the Hospitality Sector from this Saturday. They are already required for entry to clubs and discos and Nursing Homes.

The ruling will apply to bars, restaurants, cafe concerto and indoor catering spaces with capacity for more than 50 customers, including those located in tourist accommodation, sports facilities, recreational centres for the elderly and gambling and betting venues.

Various Levels

The level of alert in the Balearics changes according to the rate of infection and if any of the Islands move to level 2 on Friday, a Covid Passport will also be required for entry to shelters, hostels and other tourist accommodation with shared rooms.

The Government has already made it clear that if the risk level increases, restrictions will follow.

At level 3, a Covid Passport would be required for entry to cinemas, circus marquees, gyms, bodybuilding rooms, dance academies and other establishments where cultural activities are carried out, if food and drinks are allowed.

If the TSJIB agrees with the Government, from this Saturday until January 24, it will be mandatory for customers to prove that they have been double vaccinated, the virus has already passed or provide a negative PCR test carried out less than 72 hours before entry, or an antigen test 48 hours before entry.

Double justification

The Government has the support of the Social Dialogue Table to expand the use of Covid Passports in order to avoid introducing new restrictions.

"It has been proven that the solution is vaccination and we do not want to approve more restrictions," said Government spokesperson and Tourism Minister, Iago Negueruela. "Controlling access to premises is an obligation of employers. We want to ensure that premises are safer and avoid new restrictions in Sectors that have already had a complex year.”

The proposal to expand the use of the Covid Passport came from the Hospitality Sector as a means of avoiding new restrictions.

"It is not a question of opinion or belief, it’s the responsibility of citizens in the face of the pandemic," said Minister Negueruela, who stressed that 83% of the population is already vaccinated and is hopeful that making Covid Passports mandatory will encourage more people to get their jabs.

The Government estimates that around 220,000 people in the Balearic Islands have still not been vaccinated. Around 40,000 of those have been vaccinated in other Autonomous Communities and approximately 23,000 are vehemently opposed to being vaccinated, which leaves around 160,000.

When similar measures were introduced in Navarre, a lot more people came forward to be vaccinated and the Government is hoping the same thing will happen here.

The proposals will affect around 2,500 restaurants in the Balearic Islands and it has the support of the UGT and CCOO Unions, CAEB and PIMEM.