British travellers no longer need Covid passports in Canary Islands after shock move

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The Canary Islands’ Supreme Court has decided neither locals nor tourists will need Covid passports to go inside indoor spaces on the islands. This is despite rising cases of the virus on Tenerife and other islands.

The regional government introduced the Covid passport rule due to the rising cases of coronavirus on the islands.

Tenerife has tightened its restrictions and moved its alert level from three to four.

Meanwhile, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and La Palma have gone up to level three from level two.

To make it safer for citizens and holidaymakers, island leaders wanted people to show a Covid passport before entering indoor spaces, including pubs, restaurants, gyms, cultural centres, theatres, and cinemas.

The government had to ask the Canary Islands’ Supreme Court for permission to implement the new rule.

But in a surprising move, the Court rejected the government’s application.

Yesterday, it put a block on the new measure, ruling it was an invasion of privacy.

This follows the Court’s earlier rejection of the government’s application to place a curfew on some areas in Tenerfie to help curb the spread of the virus.

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Island leaders hoped to implement a midnight until 6am curfew, but this was turned down by the Supreme Court.

The government has now been rejected yet again for wanting to introduce measures to ensure the safety of its citizens.

However, it said it will challenge the Court’s “no Covid passport” decision after careful consideration.

According to spokesperson Julio Pérez, the government had decided to implement the passport rule following consultations with business owners on the islands.

Mr Pérez said: “For a year, a certificate or negative test has been required to enter accommodation on the islands, apart from the fact that there are controls in ports and airports and in many public and private centres data are requested or make temperature measurements.

“We will make these allegations to find out how far the Court’s mandate goes, but I insist that all the measures are decided based on the recommendations and proposals of the technical, sanitary and legal services, which have a team of 25 lawyers.

“The government has tried to combine the defence of health so that the impact of the pandemic is the least possible.

“This is made compatible with developing the greatest possible economic activity and with respect for the laws and, in particular, fundamental rights.”

The spokesperson added: “We understand that our decisions about the certificate are based on law.

“It seems to us that the right to privacy cannot be understood to be injured in this case as going to a bar, restaurant or gym is a voluntary activity.

“That this certificate is required to use a gym or enter a restaurant has not occurred only in the Canary Islands.

“It is spreading throughout the world and the president of the United States, Joe Biden, will announce today (Friday, July 30) that public officials must provide themselves with a Covid certificate.”

Tenerife has the highest number of coronavirus cases on the islands, and infections continue to rise.

The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands yesterday, July 29, confirmed 972 new cases of the virus.

There are currently 12,890 active cases in the Canary Islands.

Additional reporting by Ria Sobot. 

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