17 establishments file court case against vaccine mandate on restaurants and bars

New rules coming into force on Monday will limit entry to restaurants, bars, gyms, snack bars, każini, events, and other venues

17 establishments impacted by new vaccine rules have filed a court case against new measures that will limit entry to restaurants, gyms, and bars to vaccinated people only.

The establishments filed a warrant of prohibitory injunction on Sunday morning, with the first sitting scheduled for 28th January.

The plaintiffs cite several clauses in the Constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights on discrimination, the right to work, and the right to enjoy family life.

A warrant of prohibitory injunction prevents a person or entity from doing anything that may be prejudicial to the person requesting such warrant. The applicant must prima facie prove that his rights were prejudiced to substantiate the issuance of such warrant.

The 17 parties are being represented by lawyers Arthur Azzopardi, Keith Borg, Edric Micallef Figallo, Clive Gerada and Franco Debono.

There is another case in court against the COVID-19 measures introduced last year. The constitutional court case filed by several individuals claiming that COVID restrictions were unconstitutional and breached human rights.

As from Monday, only fully vaccinated people will be allowed to access restaurants, cafes, gyms and other public places.

The vaccine will be mandatory for staff working in the hospitality sector who have direct contact with clients. Fearne said that there will be a grace period until February for staff who have not yet received their booster dose.

He said that there were no plans to make a certificate mandatory in other sectors or to introduce a mandatory vaccination. He made clear that there were no plans to make it mandatory in the health sector.  

Hundreds of people protested in Valletta on Sunday against the new measures, while the Nationalist Party said that the regulations need to be improved to respect individual freedom.