The Government of the Canary Islands have announced that they will apply the framework, endorsed today by the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC),  for businesses to voluntarily request Covid Certificates from the public, within their establishments, such as leisure and restaurant venues, among others, from December 10 until at least January 10 following the publication of this measure in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands (BOC) on Thursday, December 9. The Regional President of The Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, this Saturday took to Twitter to clarify the plans after learning about the TSJC’s decision to back the health alert measure to prevent Coronavirus from spreading across the Islands over the holiday season.

 

 

Torres said that the initiative will be subject to evaluation and, if necessary, a new judicial authorisation would be requested should its extension be deemed necessary. The Canarian president, who applauded the TSJC decision described it as “good news given the increase in cases”, but he emphasised that “the most effective solution continues to be vaccination” and encouraged those who have not done so to go get vaccinated.

The president of the Canary Islands recalled that it is “a control measure with which sectors such as leisure and restaurants agree” and asked for prudence over the coming holiday season: “Christmas is coming: let’s be careful and comply,” he urged.

The Canary Islands Health Ministry, last Tuesday, November 30, sent a request to the Regional High Court for their review of an Order from the Minister of Health, for implementation of the measures, based on the persistent increases in the evolution of the epidemiological situation, with incidence indicators leading to a need for measures that can further contribute to curbing the rise in cases, in an earnest attempt to make the new measures compatible with the long-awaited economic reactivation, which began just three months ago.

The COVID certificate plan aims to articulate a procedure that is both respectful of fundamental rights and implies minimal impact on the private sphere of citizens, since it is permissive rather than restrictive, while maintaining the required guarantees for public health.

According to this Saturday’s ratification, issued by the TSJC, “the measures are proportionate and reasonable, resulting in the benefit obtained for the general interest being greater than the damage caused to the goods or values ​​in conflict.”

Specific restriction measures announced for easterHealth Minister, Blas Trujillo (left), maintains that this tool “is intended so that the flexibility of the indicated measures be carried out in sanitary safe spaces in relation to the spread of the virus.”

“It cannot be considered a discriminatory measure, insofar as the right to life and the protection of public health prevail”
Blas Trujillo – Minister of Health

“It is about protecting health and the lives of people through a measure that restricts the spread of the pandemic. It cannot be considered a discriminatory measure, insofar as the right to life and the protection of public health prevail” maintained Trujillo

Centres, facilities, activities and public spaces that voluntarily choose to request the certificate, accrediting the absence of an active Covid-19 infection, may increase their capacity, the number of people per group and their closing times according to the coronavirus alert level lower than is generally active on that island at the time, provided that the health risk will be minimal for any other people who are in separated spaces, avoiding the risk of transmission or serious illness.

According to the the TSJC Chamber, this measure creates “healthier environments that are safer in which it less likely to transmit the virus.”

In the order issued this morning, the Administrative Litigation Chamber of the TSJC, at its headquarters in Las Palmas, made up of judges Óscar Bosch Benítez (president), María Mercedes Martín Olivera and Lucía Débora Padilla Ramos (speaker), specified that the accreditation , which is voluntary, will be carried out either by showing a recent negative result from a diagnostic test, or a certificate of vaccination against the disease, or by presenting accreditation of having recovered from the virus.

The resolution may yet be appealed in the Supreme Court.

QR code to implement the measure

The implementation of this measure will be facilitated by the Canary Islands Health Service, who will make available an easy-to-use mobile app for citizens to read the EU Digital COVID Certificate QR code, for the measure to be effective.

An online website portal has been created, available from any mobile phone browser, called LectorCovid.com, which allows for the official QR codes to be scanned and the new app, called Lector COVID SCS (COVID SCS Reader), can also be downloaded from the Apple Store, Google Play and Huawei App Gallery stores in the coming days.

Once downloaded, business owners who choose to use the app will be able to take advantage of the relaxation of the Alert Level rules on capacity and closing hours, by applying the rules for the Alert Level immediately lower than the one in force on which the island where they are located. Supervision of proper compliance, which has the endorsement of local and regional business confederations in both provinces, will be subject to  inspections by Public Health officials and State Security Forces and other local authorities .

The measure comes into force on December 10, to allow sufficient time for those sectors involved to be able to take advantage of the benefits offered by these tools.