Nicosia district court said Monday that it will be hearing arguments later this week for and against an application for an injunction seeking to suspend a recent government decision barring unvaccinated people from accessing certain venues.
Some 100 plaintiffs, represented by lawyer Yiannos Georgiades, are asking the court to issue an interim order lifting the restrictions imposed on people who have not been vaccinated for the coronavirus.
The application for the interim order had been filed on December 27 ex parte – meaning that the defendants were not informed prior to filing, but, due to the seriousness of the issues raised, the court considered it appropriate to hear both parties and instructed service of the application.
During Monday’s hearing, Georgiades appeared on behalf of the plaintiffs, while a representative of the attorney-general’s office appeared on behalf of the defendants – the ministry of health and the minister of health.
The attorney-general’s office requested one month to file its objection to the application.
Georgiades objected, pointing out to the court that the necessary time limits have been met for service and information of the defendants, and that such a long time would not be justified.
He also argued that the measures against which the application is directed – restriction of access of unvaccinated people to restaurants, weddings, christenings – are at any rate scheduled to expire on January 15.
He submitted that, were the court to grant the attorney-general’s request for one month to file their objection, the plaintiffs’ application would be rendered irrelevant, while citizens’ rights, and in particular the right to equal treatment, would continue being violated in an illegal and unconstitutional manner.
The court decided to grant a period of one week and scheduled the hearing for January 7, on which date the attorney-general’s objection must be filed and the positions of the parties will be heard.
The application for an injunction comes under a lawsuit filed back in May 2021, which lists as defendants the state, the health minister and all members of the Covid advisory team (as individuals).
It is possible to file multiple applications for an interim order as part of the same lawsuit.
The plaintiffs seek compensation over what they claim is state negligence in the handling of the pandemic as well as violation of civil rights protected by the constitution as a result of “illegal, disproportionate and unconstitutional restrictions”.
The SafePass comprises one of the grounds for the lawsuit.
Τhe plaintiffs argue that such restrictions constitute indirect coercion either to undergo a rapid test or vaccination in violation of local and international law. They say such practices contravene the principle of free and informed consent.