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Coronavirus: Court rejects challenge to jab requirement (updated)

ÅÍÏ×ÏÉ ÏÉ ÊÁÔÇÃÏÑÏÕÌÅÍÏÉ ÓÔÇÍ ÕÐÏÈÅÓÇ Ñ.ÅÑÙÔÏÊÑÉÔÏÕ
Nicosia district court

Nicosia district court has rejected an application for an injunction challenging the legality of the health ministry’s decrees barring the unvaccinated from most venues.

The application for the interim order – seeking temporary relief – was rejected on the grounds that the Covid-19 restrictions sought to protect public health as a whole – the state’s top priority, the court argued.

The reasoning was in line with arguments made by Attorney-General George Savvides, with the court further stating that it is not possible for public health and life of others to be endangered because a small group of people do not wish to abide by the measures.

The court’s judgement also stated that public health would be endangered should the plaintiffs’ requests be approved, as the virus would be uncontrolled.

The court added that the current situation requires compliance with the measures, as is recommended by international organisations and the team of experts assessing the situation domestically.

“Each health ministry decree has a short-term effect so that the reality of the increased spread or reduced transmission can be taken into account – so that measures are not disproportionate to what is necessary to contain the virus,” the judgement read.

But one of the 64 plaintiffs disagreed with the court’s reasoning and argued that the measures – barring the unvaccinated from most venues – is disproportionate.

“They keep saying that it’s the principle of proportionality and that’s what the constitution depends on, but it doesn’t seem that they’re examining whether these measures are proportionate, the [health] minister just cites public health and that’s the end of it,” one of the plaintiffs told us.

“It’s ridiculous to limit people’s freedom of movement when you can test whether they’re healthy or not, therefore of course it’s disproportionate,” he said.

Monday’s court decision was made public on Tuesday.

The application for an injunction came 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. This application for an injunction had sought to temporarily suspend the health ministry’s measures against the plaintiffs until such time as the case is adjudged.

It’s understood the trial proper will go ahead regardless of the outcome on the injunction.

 

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