Covid certificate mandate in bars and gyms suspended due to technical problems
Catalan health authorities postpone new regulation until Monday at least after issues downloading passes
The requirement to show a Covid certificate in bars, restaurants, gyms and elderly care homes, in place from Friday, has been suspended until at least next Monday, just a few hours after it came into force.
The Catalan health authorities decided to postpone the new regulation due to technical problems in downloading the passes.
Indeed, the implementation of the new rules had a clumsy start on Friday morning, as some establishments said to Catalan News that many of their patrons had not been able to show them their passes because they had been unable to download them.
On Thursday, shortly after the High Court greenlighted the use of Covid-19 certificates for bars, restaurants, gyms, and care homes, the La Meva Salut website and app, where the passes could be downloaded, were down.
Between Thursday and Friday morning, 314,000 passes had been downloaded from La Meva Salut according to official figures. Only on Thursday, 174,000 were generated, 72,000 more than seven days before. A total of 707,000 passes were downloaded in four days.
"This measure was already implemented in nightclubs and it worked," health minister Josep Maria Argimon argued on Friday. Because over 700,000 certificates were downloaded over four days, he said, the La Meva Salut website and app "clearly work."
The sizable number of online requests have led to an overload of the system, with the public health system website running slow since Thursday.
Since July 1, 10 million certificates demonstrating proof of vaccination, having recently had the virus, or having tested negative, have been downloaded in Catalonia.
Argimon called on residents to be "patient" and to download their certificates over the weekend, advising them to save them on their cell phones rather than printing them out every time they need them.
He also asked people not to go to primary care centers or to call the 061 medical information hotline to ask for them.
Yet, the certificate is still required in nightclubs, indoor music festivals with standing audiences, and social events in restaurants and hotels with indoor dance floors.