Society 29/11/2021

Catalonia to reinstate covid pass requirements this Friday

Government considers incidents that forced suspension of the measure last week resolved

2 min
Validation of the QR certificate in a gym on Friday morning.

BarcelonaThe Catalan Government will reactivate Thursday midnight the requirement to display a covid pass to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and care homes, following a decision by the covid-19 delegate commission. The executive believes it has solved the incidents that caused the computer system to collapse last week, when tens of thousands of users attempted to download their certificate. This forced the measure to be suspended.

The Generalitat will give the population three days to download the document, which will be required as of Friday. All people over thirteen will have to present it to prove their immune status if they want to access these establishments. In the 14 hours that it was in force last Friday, ARA verified that in many cases it was not even requested or was accepted without asking the customer for any proof of identity. In parallel, however, the announcement of this restriction gave vaccination a boost with 20,000 doses administered throughout the week.

The cause of the computer collapse, government sources explain, was the "unexpected volume" of applications, which overloaded the system. The virtual queues to download the certificate reached 300,000 at some points and the Catalan Health minister, Josep Maria Argimon, has explained that some "malicious entries" were registered which, although they cannot be considered a cyberattack, triggered internal security systems.

The Government's vice-president, Jordi Puigneró, has also explained that the Health Department's app collapsed because there was a huge demand of people who in principle already had the document but "could not find it", for example because they did not know what device they had saved it on. It was detected that a single person, he explained, had downloaded their certificate up to 200 times. "It's a phenomenon we didn't count on," he admitted in an interview on Tv3.

Between 22 and 28 November, 1.8 million Covid certificates were downloaded, 348,894 of them on Sunday alone. In total, 10.4 million QR codes have been generated since the certificate was approved for use last June. "This is a tool that should help us control the pandemic, but it is not the solution," Argimon stressed on Monday.