Cyprus, Famagusta District Court, 12 May 2020, No. 1797/20
Deciding body (English)
Deciding body (Original)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Link to the full text of the decision
A Cypriot citizen violated the national lockdown to stop the spread of the Covid-19 that was in force in March 2020 on the island of Cyprus. The man faced the accusation of violating the provisions of the Infection Law (Measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 pandemic) before the District Court of Famagusta. Despite the fact that the accused tried to present a different version of the aforementioned facts at the hearing before the District Court, the Judge was not convinced by his view of the facts of the case. The Court then found the accused guilty of the accusation above.
Facts of the case
More specifically, the man was stopped by police while driving his car in Deryneia (Famagusta District) to visit his girlfriend without having in his possession the necessary certification that would exclude him from the prohibition of movement during the lockdown.
The police officer informed the accused accordingly of the crime he was committing. Afterwards, the police officer arraigned the accused of violating the national lockdown that was in place from March 24, 2020, to April 13 of the same year and, more specifically, for movement without a legitimate reason according to the provisions of the aforementioned regulatory act.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
In order to come to the conclusion below, the Court referred strictly and narrowly to the letter of the law in place for stopping the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Particularly, the Court examined Infection Law-Cap 260 ( Measures to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic) issued by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus. According to Articles 1-2 , unnecessary movements were prohibited from 6: 00 pm. of March 24, 2020 until 06:00 a.m. of April 13, 2020, except in the cases listed exhaustively in the regulation, concerning inter alia mainly work needs and serious health reasons. It must be mentioned that in order to be able to justify one of the exceptions to the prohibition of movement in place, a citizen must have a relevant certificate as proof.
The accused person did not prove in any way his justification for movement during the national lockdown. His main argument was that he was trying to visit his girlfriend with whom he was living at that time, but without having any document of proof in his possession which could justify his movement in any way.
Hence, the Court ca me to the conclusion that the accused did not possess the necessary certification to be able to prove a legitimate reason for his movement during the ordinary stop made by the police officer in the context of the national lockdown imposed by the Cypriot government, thereby violating the aforementioned regulatory act issued by the Ministry of Health. The Court concluded that his movement was unnecessary and violated the respective law and the regulatory act.
Conclusions of the deciding body
The Court found the accused guilty in relation to the accusation discussed above.
Fundamental Right(s) involved
- Freedom of association, Public gathering, Assembly
- Freedom of movement of people, goods and capital
- Right to health (inc. right to vaccination, right to access to reproductive health)
- Right to private and family life
Rights and freedoms specifically identified as (possibly) conflicting with the right to health
General principle applied
- Rule of law
- State of emergency or necessity