Courts endorse use of covid pass in nightclubs

Premises will be able to reopen tonight

2 min
A discotheque on Barcelona's seafront, reopened

BarcelonaCatalonia High Court has authorised requiring a covid pass to access nightclubs, the last step needed before they can reopen tonight. The Catalan government authorised nightclubs to reopen their indoor spaces as long as clients show their covid pass before entering. The use of this document, however, required court backing as it affects fundamental rights. This morning, the Prosecutor's Office positioned itself in favour of the measure, which it considers "necessary, appropriate and proportionate". The High Court agreed.

The Government had already given permission for nightclubs to open their outdoor areas, but the vast majority of establishments only have indoor space. Now dancing will be allowed inside clubs, although there will be a number of conditions: masks will be mandatory except when drinking and premises' maximum capacity will be 70%. The Department of Health relies on the use of the covid certificate to prevent contagion, taking into account that most of clubs' clientele will already be vaccinated and epidemiological indicators have improved in recent weeks. Conditions are also more favourable than the last time the nightlife reopened, back in June.

Small impact

Judicial backing is the last step for the premises to return to work. The sector was counting on it and some nightclubs had even started selling tickets for tonight. In addition to the Catalan government's approval, the industry won in an important judicial precedent a few weeks ago: the Spanish Supreme Court backed a similar measure in Galicia. The Prosecutor's Office also considers the measure to be "proportionate". In its report, it claimed demanding a covid pass had a small impact on fundamental rights.

According to the plan designed by the Catalan Government, vaccinees will need to present the certificate before entering the premises. Otherwise, proof of having overcome the disease or having tested negative in the last 72 hours in the case of PCRs or 48 hours in the case of lateral flow tests. These tests will need to have been carried out in approved laboratories and pharmacies, which you can find here.