By Tamsin Brown • 20 December 2021 • 18:40
Malaga restaurant owners are expressing their confusion and concern over how to check and implement the COVID Passport.
From today, December 20, the COVID Passport is required throughout Andalucia to enter bars and restaurants, but restaurant owners are having difficulty due to problems with the Salud Andalucia app. When they try to enter the app to check a customer’s COVID Passport, it loads for a few seconds before showing an error message saying that they should try again later.
The Office of Health and Families has confirmed that the application occasionally goes down there to the high number of people who are trying to access it. The restaurant workers have tried to get in touch with the police or the City Hall in order to get advice on what to do, but they are getting no answer.
“The application is currently not working properly and we can’t use it, but I tried it at home this morning and it worked,” says Juan González, co-owner of Café con Libros, as reported in the newspaper La opinión de Málaga. Mercedes de Burgos, from the café Císter 14, also is unable to use it. “It must have collapsed because it shows an error. Also, we still have a lot of questions about what to do in certain situations, and even though we have been calling, they won’t give us an answer,” explains Mercedes.
Most restaurant workers are also unsure whether to let unvaccinated customers who have been sitting outside come in to use the toilet, and they are worried about how customers might react if they are not allowed inside to go to the toilet. “The problem is that we have called the local police and the City Hall and they also don’t have the answer,” states Ángela Suárez, from the café Dulce Dreams. “I think it’s a good idea but it’s bad for those of us who work in the sector because we end up being waiters, police officers and security,” she added.
Lack of control
One of the main fears of restaurant workers is how they are going to be able to control the situation when they are at full capacity, especially as Christmas is approaching. “When we’re full I don’t know what we’re going to do, because we don’t have the authority to ask for their ID cards to check the COVID Passport belongs to the same person,” says Bryan Lascano, a waiter.
There are also concerns that customers could be lost, particularly foreign tourists, who may come from countries where the rate of vaccination is not as high as in Spain.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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