Czech Court Rules Obligation To Wear Masks Does Not Violate Human Rights
On Monday, the Prague Municipal Court ruled that the order to wear protective face-masks to stop the spread of coronavirus is not in violation of fundamental rights and freedoms. The measure does not require approval from the government, and can be ordered directly by the Ministry of Health in the event of a state of emergency. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative photo.
Czech Rep., Feb 2 (BD) – The Prague Municipal Court ruled on Monday that the order to wear face-masks to stop the spread of coronavirus is not in violation of fundamental rights and freedoms. The court also stated that such an order does not require the approval of the government, and can be directly ordered by the Ministry of Health during a state of emergency. Lawyer Adam Černý filed the motion of annulment in November last year, arguing that the order to wear face-masks was illegal, as the Ministry of Health did not have the authority to issue this order.
The Ministry of Health asked the court to reject the motion, as the measures had been renewed many times. The court allowed the case to proceed and took the latest measures issued by the Ministry of Health in consideration. The court finally ruled that the Ministry of Health has the authority to order the wearing of masks, closure of retail stores and catering services, and restrictions on movement during a pandemic, and does not require the government’s approval for such regulations. The court added that these measurements are in line with the responsibilities of the Ministry of Health, and as a result there was no excessive use of power by the Ministry. The measure requiring the wearing of masks is not a “drastic and widespread violation of fundamental rights and freedoms,” the court declared.
“In view of all the circumstances (including the very dynamically changing situation in the Czech Republic in connection with the epidemic), the court considers the justification to be sufficient, meeting the requirements for the quality of justification of measures of a general nature,” the decision reads.
In a press release on Monday, the government announced that the value added tax (VAT) on the prices of FFP2, KN95 or N95 respirators will be temporarily waived, promising the improved affordability of more protective equipment. The decision should be valid at least for the following two months. More information on the press release can be found here.