AUTHORITIES in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalunya were forced to postpone the introduction of mandatory COVID passes at bars, restaurants and gyms on Friday after the system to download the certificate crashed.

Thousands of people had attempted to download the certificate from a local government website ahead of the new regulation coming into force that the entire system crashed.

Regional health chief Josep Maria Argimon announced that as a result the requirement would come into force on Monday instead.

More than 700,000 passes have been downloaded over the past four days, his department said.

Catalunya is among the first regions to require immunity certificates in Spain after the regional court approved the measure on Thursday.

The Covid passport is already required to enter nighttime venues, as well as music festivals and events such as weddings in Catalunya.

But with infections on the rise –currently at 170 cases per 100,000 over 14 days – the Catalan regional government to extend the use of the certificate to more venues, specifically: bars, restaurants, gyms and nursing homes.

Galicia in the northwest also began asking for COVID passes at restaurants on Friday while Aragon and the Balearic Islands are demanding them for nightclubs.

In Navarre, a COVID passport must be shown in order to enter restaurants with more than 60 customers as well as night clubs and indoor venues with more than 1,000 people.

The Valencia region on Friday said the health pass would be required for restaurants, bars and entertainment venues of over 50 people, as well as for nursing homes and hospital visits.

Spain’s two-week COVID-19 incidence reached 160 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday but with close to 90% of the over 12 population vaccinated, hospital admissions remain low.

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