The Municipal Court annulled an extraordinary measure by which the Ministry of Health extended the obligation to wear face masks in the Czech Republic from October 21.
According to the court’s ruling, the Ministry did not sufficiently substantiate the reasons why such a duty are necessary. The court ruled that the measure would be revoked on November 21, so the ministry had time to adopt new ones without issues, court spokeswoman Markéta Puci added on Twitter.
“The measure from October 19 lacks specific, comprehensible, and substantiated considerations based on which the court could effectively and responsibly examine whether it is really necessary to insist on the mandatory wearing of respiratory protective equipment to the extent currently set to achieve the declared objective,” the ruling said.
According to the court, the ministry only took over the justification from the earlier measures and did not explain why it tightened the rules. The justification also lacks any specific information regarding the development of the epidemic situation, which the ministry took into account in the change.
Czechs could still have some sort of mask duty if the courts uphold new ministry rules put in place after November 21.
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The court’s reasoning also found that the reasoning behind why the Ministry chose the exceptions contained in the measure lacked substance.
“The described defects are not purely academic deficiencies – they prevent the court from properly assessing individual objections, questioning the proportionality of the chosen solution,” the court explained. At the same time, the court emphasized that the decision did not alleviate the threats of the epidemic and did not assess the need for and proportionality of the measures.
“The court could not assess the necessity and proportionality, as it was prevented from doing so by insufficient reasoning,” it stated.
However, the court decided to cancel the measure from November 21 so that the ministry would have sufficient time to implement new measures.
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The court wrote that the Ministry of Health can “re-adopt a similar measure, taking into account reproof of the local court, if it finds sufficient reasons for this.”
Minister of Health Jan Blatný stated that the epidemiological group of the ministry has enough time to submit the necessary evidence and react by November 21.
“It should not be our intention to refrain from wearing protective gear,“ he said.
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