SPANISH car manufacturer SEAT has asked workers at its factory outside Barcelona to sit in a separated section if they hadn’t been vaccinated, in the first move of its kind within Spain.
The company, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen, said the canteen was divided into sections for the vaccinated and unvaccinated in a bid to protect workers and avoid outbreaks at the car plant.
“A few weeks ago, it was decided with the agreement of union representatives, to set up areas within the company canteens to protect unvaccinated workers,” SEAT said in a statement issued to Reuters on Friday.
“The areas for those who are unvaccinated have the strictest COVID measures to protect their health.”
The canteen area is the only place within the factory where masks do not have to be worn, according to company guidelines.
The initiative emerged as authorities across Spain’s regions consider introducing Covid passports for access to certain areas such as hospitals, restaurants, bars and sporting events.
Since early October, the region of Catalunya has insisted that the European Covid pass be required to access large scale musical events and nightclubs and extended its use for celebrations such as weddings at hotels and restaurants so that dancing would be allowed.
Meanwhile Galicia has imposed the requirement for access to hospitals, and both Navarra and the Basque Country have asked the courts to approve requests to require Covid certificates to enter hostelry establishments as infections rise.
Vaccination is not compulsory in Spain but the country has one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe with 89.1% of the population aged 12 and above fully vaxxed according to the latest figures published on Friday, November 19.
Spain is currently unrolling a booster jab campaign and is now offering a top-up dose to those aged over 60 and over.
- Unvaccinated patients make up two-thirds of intensive care COVID-19 cases in Costa Blanca and Valencia areas of Spain
- Pedro Sanchez announces COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for everybody aged over 60 in Spain
- Half of anti-vaxxers in Spain’s Balearic Islands are expat residents