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Cyprus

Coronavirus: Court backs government, rejects challenge to Covid decrees

Nicosia court

The Nicosia district court has rejected a motion filed by 186 people asking for an interim order exempting them from health ministry decrees imposing restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The court said exempting the plaintiffs would damage the universality of their application towards halting the pandemic.

The interim order was part of a lawsuit against the state and the former health minister, which argues that the measures violated their constitutional rights and the medical reasons evoked by the authorities did not justify such measures.

The request included exemption from having to possess a safe pass.

In its decision, the court said the obligation to get a vaccine and submit to diagnostic tests did not violate an individual’s physical integrity or the freedom of religion or the freedom of opinion.

According to a written statement issued by the Legal Service, the court noted that “the objective of protecting public health can justify the plaintiffs’ submission to mandatory testing or rapid antigen tests.”

The court further noted that displaying a negative test result was not the equivalent of personal data processing and rejected the suggestion that the plaintiffs had been subjected to torture or inhuman or humiliating treatment.”

“The plaintiffs also failed to prove a violation of the principle of equality or that they had been treated unequally,” according to the statement.

The decision said the right to privacy or freedom of movement or exercising a profession were not absolute and can be restricted for the good of public health.

The court also rejected the lawsuit against former health minister Constantinos Ioannou, ruling that based on the constitution, the only entity who could be held liable for such actions was the Republic, which is being sued through the attorney general.

The plaintiffs were ordered to pay the expenses.

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