26 Sep 2020

Tahiti court confirms mask policy in Covid-19 challenge as case number jumps

1:28 pm on 26 September 2020

A court in French Polynesia has thrown out a challenge to the order to wear masks brought in to stop the spread of Covid-19.

View of a Coronavirus Covid-19 background - 3d rendering

Photo: 123rf.com

The ruling came as the government announced the sixth fatality of the pandemic amid a jump in new infections to more than 1500 cases.

Representing 47 individuals, lawyer Thibaud Millet sought to quash the decrees issued by the government and the French High Commission, arguing that they were too restrictive and vague.

The court however confirmed that the High Commission and the government did have the authority to impose such orders, but it also ruled that the orders needed to be amended to give a time limit and to redefine the geographical application.

Millet also pointed out that the decrees were imprecise as they required social distancing between for example a parent and a child.

In the lead-up to today's court ruling, the government warned that it would be necessary to have a lockdown, should the court invalidate the mask policy.

The second Covid-19 wave arrived in August after the borders were opened and mandatory quarantine requirements were abolished in a move to boost tourism and revive the economy.

Over the past two days, there were another 110 new Covid-19 cases, raising the total to 1579.

238 cases were considered active.

22 people are in hospital, including six in intensive care.

In the first Covid-19 wave from March to June, 62 cases were recorded.