Major Covid-19 ruling: Czech government cannot indirectly force citizens to be vaccinated, says top court in decision against ‘green passes’

Czech Republic's Prime Minister Petr Fiala addresses lawmakers during a parliament session in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
By John Cody
3 Min Read

Czechs will no longer need to prove their vaccination status in order to attend restaurants, cultural and sports events after Feb. 9, the country’s prime minister announced on Wednesday.

Czechia’s Supreme Administrative Court (NSS), the top court in the land, abolished the condition that residents must prove vaccination or recent illness from coronavirus to attend social events on Wednesday, postponing its decision for seven days to provide the government with an opportunity to respond to the ruling, according to Czech news outlet Seznamzpravy.

“The measure cannot aim to indirectly force citizens to be vaccinated. This would make voluntary vaccination mandatory through an emergency vaccination measure, as unvaccinated people would have no choice but to be vaccinated if they wanted to live normally,” said NSS Judge Petr Mikeš

The government now has limited options to ensure rules can continue to apply. The ministers could either issue a new measure taking into account the court’s ruling, or declare a state of emergency.

“Taking into account current developments, the government will abolish the obligation to prove with a certificate of vaccination or illness at the entrance to restaurants, services, cultural, sports and other similar events on February 9,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told reporters.

However, it is still mandatory to wear face masks indoors. Fiala referred to the experts’ statement that this was a highly effective and minimally restrictive measure. According to the prime minister, there will still be a limit on the number of participants at mass events.

After negotiations, the government also enforced an amendment to the pandemic law, despite resistance from opposition parties. Freedom and Direct Democracy deputy Radim Fiala called it an attack on freedom and human rights.

“The pandemic law is only a safeguard in case of another wave of omicron,” Fiala stated.

The court annulled the green pass measure based on a lawsuit filed by a woman from Brno. The repealed provisions prohibit customers from entering catering establishments, music, dance, gaming and similar social clubs and discos, casinos and casinos and from using short-term and recreational accommodation services if they do not meet the conditions described by the ministry. These conditions are either a completed vaccination or recovery from a Covid-19 infection in the last 180 days. 

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