Isolating whole classes during State of Calamity “violated Constitution”

Insisting that whole classes of children were sent into isolation whenever a pupil tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the State of Calamity violated the Constitution.

The admission comes as a result of two court actions for habeas corpus, taken out by the parents of pupils in schools in Amadora and Torres Vedras (both outlying areas of Lisbon).

Constitutional court judges considered that “privation of liberty, through confinement within the home” was at issue, and taken on the basis of an administrative order, “without judicial control”.

In other words, it ruled in favour of the parents’ desire for their children’s freedom, and indeed that of the rest of the family (as this too was invariably told all members had to isolate at home for 13 days…)

The health ministry however has sought to downplay the ruling, stressing it came from “only one of the sections of the Constitutional Court”.

Moreover, the court “has not revoked the rule” – thus it remains in force.

Nonetheless, the decision is proof that when parents/ citizens feel strong enough about measures depriving them of their liberty, recourse to Law tends to restore the balance.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com