Court quashes French Polynesia Covid-19 quarantine rules

11:22 am on 17 May 2020

A administrative court in French Polynesia has ruled that it is illegal to hold arriving passengers in quarantine premises determined by the authorities.

Following a complaint by two individuals confined to Papeete's university accommodation, the court said the terms of the quarantine over the Covid-19 pandemic were manifestly illegal and a serious attack on their liberty.

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Photo: supplied

Based on the position of the French constitutional court, the court in Tahiti said they should have been given a choice on how to comply with the French health emergency rules.

The court decided therefore that the two could spend the two-week quarantine period self-isolating at home.

The two, who complained that the facilities were catastrophic, were allowed to leave a day before the court ruling.

Media reports said when they were checked upon by police they were not found to be at home.

The French Polynesian government said anyone entering the territory from mainland France would have to be tested for Covid-19 before departure and go into assigned quarantine for two weeks on arrival.

The lack of appropriate quarantine facilities had been cited as one of the reasons why the hundreds of stranded residents abroad would not be repatriated.

Before today's court ruling the health minister Jacques Raynal said the efforts of the population to keep the virus at bay were being put at risk.

Last week, the same court declared the nightly curfew imposed by the government to be illegal and lifted it with immediate effect.

France suffered more than 27000 Covid-19-related death while French Polynesia recorded none.