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Cyprus court upholds vaccination certificate requirements

January 25, 2022 GMT

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A Cypriot District court rejected a petition by 64 people to strike down as unconstitutional government regulations requiring COVID-19 vaccination certificates to enter indoor and outdoor venues, the Attorney-General’s office said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the court accepted the Attorney-General’s argument that a relevant Health Ministry decree aims to protect the island nation’s entire population, which is the “state’s highest duty.”

The court added that it is “not reasonable or possible” to put the lives of the whole population at risk because of a small group of citizens that doesn’t wish to abide by the decree.

The judge who rendered the decision said the petition doesn’t exclusively concern the protection of the petitioners’ rights but also directly affects the rights of all citizens to prevent delays in tracing COVID-19 cases and close contacts that would result in the “uncontrolled spread” of the virus.

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“In the event the petition is granted, the danger lurks that the disease could go unchecked, resulting in adverse consequences on public health,” the judge said.

The judge said prevailing conditions mandate the measures which are recommended by international organizations as well as the group of health experts that advises the government.

The measures have been enacted for the medium term and conditions are appraised continually so that disproportionate measures are avoided.

According to official statistics, nearly 46,500 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Cyprus between Jan. 4 and Jan. 17, bringing the infection rate to 5,235 per 100,000 people.

In the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of the ethnically split country, the COVID-19 infection rate on Monday stood at 1.55%.