The Public Prosecutor’s Office has said it will investigate reports that hospitality staff have been threatened by a group campaigning against Covid passport use. It has also promised to ensure that no criminal action against those responsible for this sector goes unpunished.
Regional councillor for Justice, Interior and Public Administration, Gabriela Bravo, today conveyed to the Valencian Public Prosecutor’s Office the government’s concern about the situation of those in the nightlife, hotels and restaurants sector: “We cannot allow in any way that these people, by complying with their obligation to request the covid-19 passport and the corresponding identification, have to suffer threats, insults or coercion”.
Bravo explained that she had asked for help from the three provincial prosecutors and the prosecutor of the High Court of Justice for maximum involvement “in the investigation of these criminal acts”. She reported that they have assured her they “will act and investigate with the necessary follow-up so that no criminal act goes unpunished”.
Threats to hospitality staff
The action from the justice department comes in response to incidents at the beginning of the month, when a group, calling themselves Acción Burriana-Nules, turned up at several hospitality establishments in the town of Nules, Castellón. They reportedly put pressure on hospitality staff for requesting to see Covid passports for entry, as Alberto Mendo, vicepresident of the Nules Hospitality Association told news agency Europa Press.
According to Mendo, “these people, who do not want to wear masks, claim that requiring them to have a Covid passport to enter catering establishments is illegal”.
“Although at first they presented themselves with papers because their intention was to inform, they later coerced staff by indicating that many more would be coming and would file complaints”, he added.
Alberto Mendo explained that he contacted the local police to see what the hoteliers could do if the events were repeated, and he said that it would be down to the owners of the establishments that had been threatened to file a complaint.
“We are in an exceptional situation that sets a series of requirements for entry to premises. We want to work, so if we have to ask for Covid passports, we’ll ask for them”, he stressed.
According to el diario, which reported the initial harassment by the protesters, staff received threats such as: “If you refuse service for not showing a Covid passport, 50 more of us will come and report you.”
Bravo made the statements at the preparatory meeting for the convening of the Joint Commission with the senior prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Valencia Region, Teresa Gisbert, which will take place at the end of January.
The meeting addressed the issues to be discussed at the next joint meeting, such as digitalisation, the Infrastructure Plan, the social units that have been set up, both to support the investigation of economic crimes and to reinforce the Social Care Units that will also support the Public Prosecutor’s Office in cases related to disability issues.