By Tamsin Brown • 16 January 2022 • 12:38
The question of whether pharmacies in Spain can legally charge for COVID certificates arose after one pharmacy decided to do so.
The answer is no, a pharmacy cannot charge for printing a COVID certificate. The question arose after a pharmacy in La Coruña decided to charge 1.50 euros for the document that shows a person has recovered from COVID, is vaccinated or has had a negative test result. The pharmacy chose to do so in order to prevent long queues of young people wanting to go out partying.
Last June, pharmaceutical organisations agreed that the service must be free and voluntary and that if any pharmacy could not or did not want to provide the COVID certificate then they did not have to, but under no circumstances were they to charge for it.
Héctor Castro Bernardino, president of the Official College of Pharmacists in La Coruña, told the newspaper La Voz de Galicia that pharmacists have “the obligation of offering it for free. And if it cannot be provided for any reason, then it does not have to be, but under no circumstances should it have a cost”. This decision was made with the objective of lessening the strain on health clinics.
Increasing numbers of young people are going to pharmacies to obtain the COVID certificate, when, theoretically, they could download it from the mobile app. The printed version is intended for elderly people who have difficulty using technology or do not have a mobile phone, but a minimum age was not set for this, and everybody has a right to ask for the printed version.
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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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