The Government of the Generalitat has approved the Decree Law under which schools and other educational establishments will receive information on the vaccination status of their pupils and employees in order to comply with quarantine protocols.
Before the start of the new school year, a large number of schools asked their pupils’ parents for information on the vaccination status of their pupils in order to comply with the protocols required by the health authorities.
However, the Department of Education was quick to inform the schools to stop requesting such information, as the legal basis for the processing of such personal data was rather vague. Until then, schools, by virtue of Decree Law 41/2020, were obliged to ask their teachers and pupils for their contact details, identification and COVID test results in the event of a positive result, and to make them available to the Department of Education.
The previous wording of Decree Law 41/2020 did not provide for data on the vaccination status of either pupils or teaching staff, which left schools without a clear guideline for requesting such data in order to comply with the protocols imposed by the health authorities.
This is why today, following its publication in the DOGC and its approval yesterday by the Government of the Generalitat, Decree Law 20/2021, of 14 September, which aims to amend Article 8.5 of Decree Law 41/2020, comes into force. The new wording of this article stipulates that the Department of Health must inform the directors of educational centres of the vaccination status of their employees and students.
In this way, it is not the schools that must request the vaccination data, but rather the Department of Health itself that will make it available to them so that they can correctly carry out the quarantine protocols that are relevant for each person.
It should be remembered that the current measures dictated by the health authorities do not require quarantine for people who, despite having been in close contact with a positive person, have a complete vaccination schedule or have passed the COVID with positive PCR or antigens in the last 180 days.
In short, it will not be the schools that will have to request vaccination data from their employees and students in order to comply with the quarantine guidelines, but rather the Department of Health will have to provide this data to the school principals.
In this way, Catalonia establishes a clear legal framework that legitimises the processing of vaccination data by schools, a fact that was somewhat unclear under data protection regulations.
AddVANTE’s Legal Department has extensive experience in advising schools and educational centres on personal data protection matters, and we remain at our clients’ disposal to resolve any queries they may have in this regard.