Spain’s Andalusia to require Covid health pass at most outdoor bar terraces 

People in the southern Spanish region who don’t have a Covid-19 health pass to enter hospitality establishments will not be able to rely on sitting outdoors in most bar and restaurant terraces, Andalusia’s Health Minister has warned. 

Customers sat outdoors in bar and restaurant terraces in Andalusia will be asked to show their Covid health pass in most places.
Customers sat outdoors in bar and restaurant terraces in Andalusia will be asked to show their Covid health pass in most places. Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP

Andalusia’s Minister of Health and Families Jesús Aguirre on Saturday confirmed Friday’s announcement that the Covid health pass will finally be required for the hospitality sector in Andalusia after several failed attempts to get it approved in the courts over the course of 2021. 

From Monday December 20th, people will need either a Covid health pass or proof of a negative Covid-19 test to be able to enter the interior of bars, cafés, restaurants and nightclubs in the region that’s home to cities such as Seville, Málaga, Granada and Almería.

Even though the latest regional BOJA bulletin doesn’t make a mention of it, Aguirre told journalists in Córdoba on Saturday that “the majority of establishments will ask for it (the Digital Covid Certificate) for outdoor seating”, stressing the commitment of hospitality businesses to adopting the measure.

Though unofficial, this makes Andalusia the first region in Spain to require a Covid health pass for people sitting outdoors in bar and restaurant terraces, a seating option which is usually available across the country if the weather allows for it.

That means that unvaccinated people in the southern region may not be able to sit outdoors – an alternative which is available in the 11 other Spanish regions which currently require a Covid-19 health pass – and in effect be barred from the vast majority of hospitality establishments in Andalusia.

The region’s government – La Junta – has made a QR reader available to the region’s roughly 34,800 bars and 11,700 restaurants which will allow them to scan customers’ Covid health passes and check their validity.

MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

Around 5.3 million people have downloaded their Covid health pass in the region of 8.4 million. 

Aguirre called on those who haven’t downloaded their Digital Covid Certificate yet to do so “to give them peace of mind when they want to go out for a meal or go out partying”.

READ ALSO: How to get a Covid-19 health pass for daily affairs in Andalusia

The Covid health pass or passport measure for the hospitality sector will be in place until January 15th 2022. The health document was already required to enter hospitals and care homes in Andalusia. 

People who haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19 can present a negative antigen test taken within the last 48 hours or a negative PCR test taken within the last 72 hours in order to gain access to a bar or restaurant, indoors or outdoors. 

Those who have recovered from Covid in the past 6 months can also prove so via a PCR test taken at least 11 days after getting infected with the virus.

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Spain lifts Covid-19 checks at French border

Spanish authorities will no longer request proof of Covid-19 vaccination, testing or recovery from people who enter Spain by land from France.

Spain lifts Covid-19 checks at French border

The news was announced in Spain’s official BOE state bulletin on Wednesday, and will come into effect the following day, on Thursday May 19th 2022.

For the past 26 months, Spanish legislation has allowed border officials to be able to require a Covid health pass from anyone over the age of 12 entering Spain from France by car, train or on foot. 

In reality, Spain’s borders with France haven’t always been manned and Covid-19 health checks haven’t been a constant throughout the pandemic as in the case of air travel, for which Spain still has Covid-19 restrictions for travellers arriving from France. 

READ ALSO: When will Spain get rid of all its Covid-19 travel restrictions?

At times when infection rates were high, border checks on both sides were tightened, or as happened during the summer of 2021, there were tough health checks to enter France but not to enter Spain.

According to Spain’s Health Ministry, the decision to scrap health checks at Spain’s land border with France has been reached given the high levels of vaccination and immunisation achieved in both countries, which has led to a significant decrease in serious Covid-19 cases and deaths.

However, the French Embassy in Spain states that all unvaccinated arrivals in France, including those arriving by land, still have to be able to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test before crossing over into France from Spain, with some exceptions for cross-border workers and urgent matters.

According to Spain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, there are no Covid certificate requirements at the land border between Spain and Portugal