Tuesday, May 19, 2020

France's Council of State Orders Lifting of COVID-19 Ban On Worship Services

Yesterday, France's highest court, the Council of State, ruled that within 8 days the government must lift its COVID-19 ban on gatherings at houses of worship. Currently only funerals, with no more than 20 people in attendance may be held in houses of worship.  Reporting on the decision, Euronews said:
The judge highlighted that the government authorised public gatherings of up to 10 people in other settings and that as such the blanket ban "is disproportionate to the objective of preserving public health."
The ruling adds that freedom of worship is a fundamental right which "includes among its essential components the right to participate collectively in ceremonies, in particular in places of worships" and that the government's decree "constitutes a serious and manifestly unlawful interference with it".
It called on the government to take measures that are "strictly proportionate to the health risks incurred".
[Thanks to Eric Rassbach via Epidemiclaw for the lead.]