COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker

Keep Civic Space Healthy

This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws. For information about our methodology, click here.

For more information and analysis by region, click here.

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The COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker is a collaborative effort by the ICNL, ECNL, and our global network of partners, with generous research support from the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin. This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at adeblock@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.


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Australia

Emergency Management Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Act

The act amends Western Australia's Emergency Management Act of 2005, allowing the government to install surveillance devices in homes and direct people to wear monitoring devices, in order to ensure that those required to isolate during the coronavirus crisis do not interact with the community. Persons who fail to comply are subject to a $12,000 fine or up to a year of imprisonment.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 3 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Australia

"Snap" Lockdowns

Authorities of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia have imposed multiple "snap" lockdowns ranging from three days to a week to contain the outbreak.


Introduced 8 Jan 2021 Ongoing

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Australia

State of Disaster Lockdown Order

On August 2, the Premier of Victoria announced a State of Disaster in regional Victoria. Movement restrictions were imposed on the region, prohibiting residents from leaving their homes for any reason other than shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise, work and study that could not be done from home, or personal safety. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Aug 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Australia

Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020

The order by New South Wales requires individuals to stay in their place of residence absence a reasonable excuse, and prohibits public gatherings of more than two people. Exceptions include gatherings of members of the same household, and gatherings essential for work or education.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Australia

Direction under Section 16 of the Public Health Act 1997

The order declares a "state of emergency" in Tasmania and among other things prohibits all gatherings of three or more people, with limited exceptions, in order to combat the spread of Covid-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Declaration 2020

The Governor-General declares a "human biosecurity emergency," on account of the coronavirus. The declaration gives the Minister for Health expansive powers to issue directions and set requirements in order to combat the outbreak. The declaration was issued under Article 475 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, the first time these powers under the Act have been used.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020 Extended until 9/17/2021

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

State of Emergency

The Premier and Minister of Health declare a 4-week "state of emergency" in the state of Victoria, to combat Covid-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

State of Emergency

The Minister of Emergency Services declares a "state of emergency" in Western Australia, on account of Covid-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

Emergency Management (Gatherings) (COVID-19) Direction 2020

The order by South Australia's government prohibits gatherings of more than 10 persons, or fewer than 10 if social distance is not maintained. The prohibition applies to public and private, indoor and outdoor spaces, and includes limited exceptions for essential businesses and health care facilities, among others.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Australia

State of Public Health Emergency

The Premier of Queensland declares a "public health emergency."

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 29 Jan 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

Military Enforcement of State of Disaster

The premier announced that military personnel would be deployed to enforce the curfew and that breaches of curfew could be punished with fines of up to 20,000 Australian dollars (US $14,250). 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 4 Aug 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement, Militarization

Type: practice

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Austria

COVID-19 Measures Act

The law enables the Government to prohibit access to public places places insofar as this is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Movement

Type: law

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Austria

Order of the Federal Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Nursing and Consumer Protection i

The order, issued under Section 2 of the COVID-19 Measures Act, prohibits people from entering public spaces. Exceptions include activities with the purpose of averting immediate danger to life, limb, or property; caring for or supporting vulnerable people; meeting necessary basic needs of daily life or fulfilling work responsibilities; and walking pets.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Austria

Measures Against the Convergence of Large Crowds

The decree, issued under Section 15 of the Epidemics Act of 1950, instructs local health authorities to issue regulations that prohibit all large gatherings of 500 people or more outside or 100 people or more inside.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 10 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Belgium

State of Emergency

The federal government declares a "state of emergency" on account of the coronavirus, and bans gatherings of more than two people.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency

Type: order

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Brazil

Curfew Order

The city of Rio de Janeiro decreed a nightly curfew and the closure of any type of commercial activity on its beaches for a week due to the advance of the pandemic. New restrictions come into effect between March 4 and March 11, according to the Rio Mayor's Office Official Gazette.

"The permanence of people in the streets, areas and public squares of the municipality between 23:00 and 05:00 hours is prohibited," the text indicated. The Mayor's Office also suspended commerce and the provision of services on beaches, including street vendors, beach bars and handicraft markets.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 4 Mar 2021

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Brazil

Decree No. 12.485

Araraquara, a city in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, imposed a rigorous 15-day curfew after 12 cases of local transmission of the so-called COVID-19 Brazilian variant.

The measure was announced on 15 February 2021 by the Araraquara Mayor's Office. A fine of up to 6,000 reais (about 1,110 dollars) for those who violate the  decree was set. The circulation of people, bicycles or vehicles is only allowed  for essential services. Only essential shops are allowed to open, but with restricted hours.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Feb 2021

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Brazil

Provisional Measure No. 928

The measure amends Law No. 13,979 of February 6, 2020, which provides measures to address the public health emergency caused by coronavirus. Government officials are not required to answer any freedom of information requests during the state of calamity if the server hosting the information is quarantined or inaccessible while working remotely. The measure also gives priority to information requests related to the public health emergency.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 23 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Access to Information

Type: order

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Brazil

State of Emergency

Declares a national "state of emergency" on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 20 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Brazil

Crackdown on Protests

In Recife, protests against the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and discontent with the government were violently suppressed by military police using rubber bullets and tear gas. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 May 2021

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: practice

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Brazil

Prosecution of Government Critics for Criminal Defamation and Violation of National Security Law

The government has used a National Security Law enacted during the country's dictatorship to seek prison sentences against individuals for criticizing the official pandemic response. Federal police have opened investigations into at least four journalists at the request of President Jair Bolsonaro's administration. The administration has also called for a criminal investigation of a Supreme Court justice who was critical of the pandemic response. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 28 Jan 2021

Issue(s): Expression

Type: practice

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Brazil

Withholding C19 Data

The Brazilian government stopped releasing its total numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and removed large amounts of COVID-19 data from an official site, allegedly under an order by President Bolsonaro. On June 5, Brazil’s government stopped releasing the cumulative numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and obituaries in its daily bulletin and only supplied daily numbers. A health ministry site was taken offline and returned on June 6 without the total number of deaths and confirmed cases, as well as numbers of cases under investigation and those that recovered.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 23 Jun 2020

Issue(s): Access to Information

Type: practice

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Brazil

Employing Geolocation to Enforce COVID-19 Restrictions

The Brazilian city of Recife has partnered with a geolocation company to create a platform that tracks the locations of 800,000 people, based on their smartphones. City authorities use the information to track and identify individuals who violate quarantine and lockdown measures.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 28 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Canada

Declaration of an Emergency to Protect the Public

The executive order by the government of Ontario declares an emergency under Section 7.0.1(1) the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Among other things, the order prohibits gatherings of 50 or more people.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 27 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency

Type: order

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Chile

Ministerial Border Closure Order

The Ministry of Health confirmed that borders will continue to be closed throughout June 2021. Under the order, only Chilean citizens and legal resident foreigners may enter the country. Nationals and residents in Chile may not travel abroad except in very extraordinary situations, for which they must request a permit from the Carabineros de Chile.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 7 Jun 2021

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Chile

Curfew and Movement Restrictions

The government extended a curfew order to 9:00pm, closed the border, and prohibted non-resident foreigners from entering the country.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Apr 2021

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Chile

State of Catastrophe

The decree provides for the "constitutional exception" of a "state of catastrophe" for three months, due to the coronavirus. The decree allows the President to take further measures including imposing restrictions on gatherings in public spaces, establishing quarantines or curfews, and limiting individuals' movement.

The Chilean Chamber of Deputies approved the extension of the State of Constitutional Exception of Catastrophe until 30 June 2021.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Chile

Repression of protests during the pandemic

A number of people in Chile have been arrested and detained for violating public health measures that prohibit gatherings of over 50 people, while engaging in peaceful, masked, and socially distanced protests. Police have also used tear gas and water cannons to respond to a number of masked and socialy distanced protests. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 29 Jun 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: practice

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Colombia

Decree No. 580

The President of Colombia issued an executive decree mandating individual social distancing, authorizing municipalities with high ICU occupancy rates due to COVID-19 to restrict certain activities and areas, and closing land and river borders with Venezuela through September 1, 2021. The decree extends and modifies earlier decrees issued during the COVID-19 pandemic which contained varying border closure rules. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 31 May 2021 Extends and modifies Decree No. 206 (26 Feb 2021)

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Colombia

Decree No. 491 Instructions Given Under the Health Emergency Generated by the Covid-19 Pandemic

Presidential decree No. 491 increases the permissible time for the government to respond to freedom of information requests, to 30 days. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 28 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Access to Information

Type: order

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Colombia

No. 457 Instructions Given Under the Health Emergency Generated by the COVID-19 Pandemic

The presidential decree establishes mandatory, preventive isolation measures for 21 days, unless extended. The decree strictly limits individuals' freedom of movement. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 22 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Colombia

Resolution No. 385 Declaring a Health Emergency

The resolution declares a "health emergency" throughout the country until May 30, on account of the coronavirus. Among other things, prohibits large public gatherings, and orders television and radio stations and all other mass media to disseminate information provided by the Health Ministry. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information

Type: order

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Colombia

State of Health Emergency

The government decrees a "health emergency" to contain the spread of coronavirus. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Colombia

Failure to Comply with Access to Information Requests

The government failed to comply with a court order to disclose information on contracts it has made with pharmaceutical companies for COVID-19 vaccines. The court order was the result of litigation conducted by Colombian civil society organziations to obtain this information.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 May 2021

Issue(s): Access to Information

Type: practice

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Costa Rica

Executive Decree No. 42227 Declaring a State of Emergency

The executive decree declares a "state of emergency" in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Czech Republic

Curfew measures and assembly restrictions

The resolution introduces a daytime curfew with limited exceptions for grocery shopping and outdoor exercise, and a nighttime curfew with exceptions only for essential workers and urgent medical needs. The resolution also limits the freedom of assembly to outdoor areas only and gatherings of up to 100 participants total, in groups of no more than 20 persons.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Czech Republic

Restrictions on Movement of those Living in Social Service Facilities

The order prohibits individuals living in social service facilities (e.g. senior homes and special care facilities) from leaving the premises of those facilities.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Discrimination, Movement

Type: order

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Czech Republic

Government Decision to Prohibit the Free Movement of Persons 

The order prohibits the free movement of persons throughout the Czech Republic, with the exception of necessary journeys and activities.


Introduced 15 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Czech Republic

No. 215 on the Adoption of an Emergency Measure

The decree declares a "state of emergency" for one month under Constitutional Act No. 110/1998, on account of the coronavirus. It prohibits non-essential or work-related travel and orders individuals to remain home and limit contact with others to the extent possible. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Denmark

Amendment to Penal Code Increasing Sentence for Crimes Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The amendment doubles the sentence for crimes that have "a background" or are connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. The law was first used in March 2021 to impose an increased sentence on a protester.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 28 Mar 2021

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: law

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Denmark

No. 158 on Amendment of the Law on Measures Countering Infectious and Other Communicable Diseases

The law further enables the government to ban gatherings of 3 or more people, with certain exemptions including gatherings at private homes and orderinary gatherings at places of work. The law also explicitly exempts opinion-shaping assemblies, including demonstrations and political meetings. The law expires on March 1, 2021. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 31 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: law

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Denmark

No. 133 on Amendment of the Law on Measures Countering Infectious and Other Communicable Diseases

The law enables the government to ban gatherings of 10 or more people, with certain exemptions including gatherings at private homes and ordinary gatherings at places of work. The law also explicitly exempts opinion-shaping assemblies, including demonstrations and political meetings. The law expires on March 1, 2021. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: law

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Denmark

Executive Order on Prohibition of Major Assemblies and Prohibition of Access to and Restrictions on Certain Premises for Coronavirus Disease Management 2019 (COVID-19)

The order, issued under Law No. 133, prohibits gatherings and events of 10 or more people throughout Denmark starting on March 18, with exemptions including "opinion-shaping assemblies." The order is in effect until April 14. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Estonia

Declaration of an Emergency Situation on the Administrative Territory of the Republic of Estonia

Declares an "emergency situation" under Article 87(8) of the Constitution, on account of the pandemic spread of coronavirus. The declaration is in effect until May 1 unless extended or revoked. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Finland

Declaration of Exceptional Circumstances

The government declares "exceptional circumstances" to address the coronavirus. "Exceptional circumstances" are defined in Finland's Emergency Powers Act and the State of Defence Act, and allow for the government to activate extraordinary powers. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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France

Emergency Law No. 2020-290 to Address the Covid-19 Epidemic

The law establishes a "state of health emergency", under Article 38 of the Constitution, in order to address the Covid-19 epidemic. The state of health emergency allows the Prime Minister to issue decrees restricting individuals' freedom of movement and assembly, and to take "any other regulatory measure" necessary to address the health crisis. A new state of health emergency, Decree no. 2020-1257, was declared on 14 October 2020. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 22 Mar 2020 Extended through 1 June 2021

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement

Type: law

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France

Order N-R02-2021-211 on Measures to Address the Intensification of COVID-19

The territorial government of Martinique enacted an order banning gatherings of more than six people and instituting strict movement controls. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 9 Aug 2021 Extended through 9/19/2021

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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France

Lockdown Measures

Residents are permitted to leave their homes only for essential purposes, and must be in possesion of an exemption certificate. Updates to COVID-19 restricitons may be found here.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Germany

Decision by the Chancellor and the Heads of the Federal States of April 15

The decision extends the joint resolutions of March 12 and 22, which ban gatherings and restrict individuals from spending time in public spaces. These provisions will remain in effect until May 3, 2020. In addition, the decision prohibits large events through at least August 31, 2020. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Germany

Decision by the Chancellor and the Heads of the Federal States of March 22

The decision prohibits individuals from spending time in public spaces with more than one other person from outside that individual's household, and also prohibits celebrations involving groups of people gathering in in public places, apartments, and private facilities. The measures are in place for at least two weeks. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 22 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Germany

Decision by the Chancellor and the Heads of the Federal States of March 12

The decision prohibits events with more than 1,000 participants, to combat the spread of the coronavirus. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Greece

No. D1a Imposing Temporary Measures to Restrict the Movement of Citizens

The governmental decision prohibits individuals from leaving their homes for non-essential purposes, with limited exceptions, to combat the spread of coronavirus. Individuals who leave their homes must either complete a special form on the government website, send a text to a government hotline, or carry a signed personal declaration with their justification for doing so. Violators are subject to fines of up to 150 euros. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 22 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Hungary

Law Terminating the "State of Danger"

The law calls on the government to terminate the "state of danger" instituted under Decree 40/2020 of March 11, in accordance with Article 54(3) of Hungary's Fundamental Law, and withdrawal of the Law on Protection Against The Coronavirus. Article 54(3) of the Fundamental Law requires the termination of a "special legal order" if the conditions for it no longer exist. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Jun 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: law

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Hungary

Law on Transitional Rules and Health Preparedness related to the Cessation of the State of Danger

The law introduces measures related to the revocation of the "state of danger" in Hungary. However, the law expands the powers of the government during another exceptional state, by authorizing the government to issue wide-ranging decrees without parliamentary approval during a “state of medical crisis.” During such a state, the law authorizes the government to suspend existing laws and restrict fundamental rights such as freedom of movement and assembly. The government may declare a “state of medical crisis” unilaterally, based on the recommendation of a government-appointed medical officer; the “state of medical crisis” can last up to six months and may be renewed by government decree. According to critics, the law gives the government expansive leeway to rule with minimal judicial and parliamentary scrutiny for an indefinite period.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 17 Jun 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement

Type: law

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Hungary

Law on Protection Against the Coronavirus

The law extends the government's emergency powers, and suspends elections during that time. Under the law, the government may effectively rule by decree, for an indefinite period of time, without being bound by current laws. The law also punishes anyone who “distorts” or publishes “false” information on the pandemic with five years in jail.

The law was withdrawn as of 18 June 2020, along with the termination of the "state of danger." (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Emergency, Press Freedom, Elections, Expression

Type: law

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Hungary

Government Decree No. 521/2020 (XI.25.)

The Decree extends the period of responding to access to information requests from 15 days to 45 days, in the case that timely completion of the request would jeopardize the completion of public tasks related to the State of Danger. The deadline can be extended a further 45 days.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 25 Nov 2020 In effect from 26 November 2020 until 8 February 2021

Issue(s): Access to Information

Type: order

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Hungary

Government Decree No. 484/2020. (XI. 10.) on the Second Phase of Protective Measures to be Applied in the Event of a State of Danger

The Decree introduces a blanket ban on assemblies in public spaces, establishes a curfew between 8pm and 5am, and imposes heavy fines for violations up to 1,400 EUR (500,000 HUF) for participants of banned protests. The Decrees also allows the military to take part in patrols and monitor compliance with the emergency measures. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 10 Nov 2020 In effect through 11 December 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement, Militarization

Type: order

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Hungary

Law No. CIX of 2020 on the Protection Against the Second Wave of the Global Coronavirus Pandemic

The Law extends the government's emergency powers so that it may effectively rule by decree. The Law sets a 90-day time limit for the government’s exceptional powers. During the period of the state of danger, new interim elections and national and local referendum cannot be scheduled. Any previously scheduled elections or referendums are required to be cancelled. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 10 Nov 2020

Issue(s): Emergency, Elections

Type: order

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Hungary

Termination of GDPR Rights and Extension of Deadlines for FOI Requests

The government restricted data protection rights as stipulated by the GDPR and the Act on Freedom of Information. The new rules allow the government to use the personal data of citizens without clear regulations about when they can use it, and for what purpose. The government also extended the deadline for public institutions to provide requested data through FOI regulations from 15 to 45 days. The deadline can be prolonged for an additional 45 days, meaning one could have to wait up to 90 days for a response. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 5 May 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy, Access to Information

Type: order

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Hungary

State of Danger

The government declares a national "state of danger" to counter the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic. The "state of danger" is a special state of emergency regulated by Hungary's constitution.

The declaration was withdrawn as of 18 June 2020. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 11 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Iceland

Expanding a Ban on Assemblies in Iceland

The government's order, issued under the Act on Health Security and Communicable Diseases No. 19/1997, prohibits gatherings of 20 or more people throughout Iceland (including both public and private spaces) starting on March 23. A previous 100-person limit had been in place since 16 March. The ban will remain in force until May 4, 2020 and may be extended. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 23 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Ireland

Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020

The law authorizes the government to take certain measures in response to the coronavirus, including banning mass gatherings; allowing health officials to detain individuals suspected of carrying COVID19 who are unlikely or unwilling to self-isolate; and allowing the government to restrict movement of people to certain areas. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement

Type: law

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Israel

Special Powers for Dealing With the Novel Coronavirus Bill (Temporary Order) Amendment No. 2), 2020

This law prohibits participation in protests and demonstrations more than two kilometers from one's place of residence. The text of the law claims that this restriction is a measure to control the spread of coronavirus. News reports have suggested this is a politically motivated restriction intended to repress dissent arising from the government's handling of the pandemic. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Sep 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Expression, Movement

Type: law

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Israel

Law on Shin Bet (Security Agency) Contact-Tracing Program

The law authorizes the Israeli Security Agency, Shin Bet, to track actual and suspected COVID-19 cases in coordination with the Ministry of Health. Under the law, Shin Bet is able to track individuals' locations and share cell phone traffic and location data with the Ministry of Health, so long as an authorizing declaration--issued by the government or the Knesset--is in place. The data are used to identify individuals with whom COVID-19 patients have had close contact; the Health Ministry sends a text message to those individuals, and they are required by law to enter quarantine. Shin Bet can retain individuals' data for up to 14 days after providing it to the Ministry of Health. Since the surveillance plan was announced, members of the public have started using prepaid SIM cards and burner phones in order to communicate without being detected. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Jul 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Israel

Tracking Cellphone Data

New regulations allow the police to track the cellphones of coronavirus patients or those suspected of being infected, without seeking a court order. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: regulation

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Italy

Decree No. 33 of 16 May 2020

The decree restricts individuals' freedom of movement to within the same region until May 18, and between different regions until June 3. The assembly of people in spaces open to the public is prohibited. Public events and shows, including cultural, recreational, sporting, and religious events, may only take place when deemed possible by the competent national or local authorities. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 May 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Italy

Decree of 26 April 2020

The decree stipulates that persons may only make journeys proven to be necessary for work, health, or basic needs. Persons may not travel beyond the region in which they are currently located, except for reasons relating to work, health, or emergency. The decree also prohibits any form of gathering in public or private places. Organized events, activities, or shows, in public or private, are also suspended, including cultural, recreational, sporting, religious events and fairs. The opening of places of worship is conditional on the adoption of distancing measures.

(

See primary source or citation here

)

Introduced 26 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Italy

Decree No. 9 of 2020 Further Urgent Measures to Contain and Manage the Epidemiological Emergency from COVID-19

The decree imposes strict restrictions on individuals' travel and movement nationwide, prohibiting all public and private meetings or other gatherings, and instituting surveillance of individuals who have had contact with confirmed coronavirus cases. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 9 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Italy

Decree No. 8 Urgent Measures to Contain and Manage the Epidemiological Emergency from Covid-19

The decree empowers the President of the Council of Ministers to take measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 in certain areas of Italy designated as "red zones," including by limiting individuals' travel and movement; prohibiting all public and private meetings or other gatherings; and instituting surveillance of individuals who have had contact with confirmed coronavirus cases. Sanctions for noncompliance include detention for up to 3 months and fines of up to 200 Euros. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 8 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Italy

State of Emergency

Declaring a "state of emergency" on account of the coronavirus. The state of emergency is in effect for 180 days. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 31 Jan 2020 Extended through 31 January 2021

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Japan

State of Emergency

The Prime Minister declares a "state of emergency" in Tokyo and six other major metropolitan areas, under Article 32 of the Act on Special Measures. The declaration does not impose restrictions on movement, but allows governors to request that individuals remain home and recommend to organizers that they cancel events. Violators are not subject to penalty unless they fail to comply with orders related to storing and shipping medical supplies.

In August 2021 the Prime Minister extended "state of emergency" in Tokyo and added seven other ares: Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 7 Apr 2020 Lifted on 3/21/21 ; reinstated on 4/25/21 until 5/11/21 ; reextended until 5/31/21 ; reextended on 5/28/21 until 6/20/21 ; reextended on 7/12/21 until 8/22/21; reextended on 08/17/2021 until 09/12/2021

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Latvia

No. 103 on the Declaration of Emergency Situation

The order establishes an "emergency situation" throughout Latvia for one month, on account of the coronavirus. All public gatherings for meetings, marches, and rallies, as well as for religious or cultural purposes are prohibited, regardless of the number of participants. The order prohibits border crossings by air, rail, and road with limited exceptions. The order provides for administrative and criminal penalties to be applied in case of violations. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Lithuania

State of Emergency

The government declares a "state of emergency" to coordinate its response to the coronavirus. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 Feb 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Luxembourg

State of Crisis

The order from the Grand Duke declares a "state of crisis" in accordance with Article 32(4) of the Constitution, among other things imposes strict limitations on individuals' movement, and provides for a fine of 145 Euroes in case of violation. The state of crisis is in place for 10 days, unless extended by the Chamber of Deputies, by a two-thirds majority. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Mexico

Border Closure

The government closed the northern and southern land borders to address the spread of COVID-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2021

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Mexico

Suspension of Deadlines for Access to Information Laws

This declaration suspends deadlines established under several laws related to public transparency and public access to information. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 20 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Access to Information

Type: order

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Mexico

Preventive Measures to Mitigate and Control Health Risks Caused by COVID-19

The regulation issued by the Ministry of Health suspends "until further notice" mass events and meetings and congregations of more than 100 people. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 24 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: regulation

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Mexico

Bulletin No. 144/2021

The Mexican Government announced the installation of new "sanitary and inspection filters" on the south border with Guatemala, authorizing the use of drones and night vision equipment. Land crossings for non-essential activities are banned for 30 days, with the possibility for extension. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Mar 2021

Issue(s): Surveillance, Movement

Type: policy

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Mexico

Cellphone Monitoring

Telephone companies are obliged to provide access to cellphone antennas to enable the Digital Agency for Public Innovation (ADIP) to monitor movement of and contact between people in Mexico City, with the objective of identifying whether people comply with isolation instructions. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Netherlands

COVID-19 Temporary Measures Act

This bill provides for temporary expansion of regional ministers' power to regulate public gatherings for the duration of the pandemic. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: law

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Netherlands

Decision 1666478-203555-PG on Regional Emergencies

The central government’s decision orders all regions of the Netherlands to adopt emergency decrees, under the law on public health. The regional decrees must limit public gatherings, defined as groups of three or more people who are not maintaining 1.5 meters of distance between them. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 23 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency

Type: order

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Netherlands

Emergency COVID-19 Safety Ordinance for Amsterdam-Amstelland Region

The emergency ordinance prohibits organizing or participating in meetings, through June 1, to combat the spread of Covid-19. The ordinance provides exceptions including for governmental meetings, funerals and weddings, and religious meetings, as long as participants maintain 1.5 meters of distance among one another. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency

Type: regulation

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New Zealand

Section 70(1)(m) Health Act Order on Mandatory Self-Isolation

The order closes all premises other than government offices and essential businesses, and prohibits outdoor congregations of people, whether in public or private spaces. The order remains in effect "until further notice." (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 25 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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New Zealand

State of Emergency

The government declares a "state of national emergency" under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, due to COVID-19. The state of national emergency applies to all of New Zealand, including all offshore islands, and must be renewed every 7 days. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 25 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Norway

Corona Act

The temporary law is an enabling act that gives the Government the authority to supplement or depart from existing law as needed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The Parliament must be notified and retains some power to block such moves. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: law

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Norway

National COVID-19 Measures

The National COVID-19 Measures require all travellers arriving in Norway to register before they cross the border. A maximum of 100 people are allowed at indoor events where all of the participants sit in designated, distanced seating. A maximum of 200 people are allowed at outdoor events.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 5 Nov 2020 Measures have been extended and adjusted since their implementation. Latest update as of 4/16/21

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Poland

Order No. 180 Regarding Use of the Military to Provide Assistance to the Police

As a result of the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the military Gendarmerie will assist the police in maintaining security and public order from October 28 until the date of cancellation of the State of Epidemic. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Militarization

Type: order

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Poland

Cellphone App to Monitor Quarantine Compliance

The government launched a cellphone app that allows police to monitor individuals' compliance with quarantine; those who do not are subject to a fine of up to PLN 5,000. The app includes facial recognition technology.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Portugal

Decree No. 8/2020

The Decree establishes a state of emergency for 15 days, renewable by the government every 15 days. The Decree limits movement on public roads and in public spaces between 11pm and 5am on weekdays and 1pm and 5am on weekends. Exceptions are made for essential travel, as defined by the Decree (including traveling for work, health reasons, buying groceries or medical products, assisting vulnerable people, force majeure, etc.). The Decree also allows for the measurements of body temperature, performed by non-invasive means, in order to control of access to the workplace, to public services or institutions, educational establishments and commercial, cultural or sports spaces, means of transport, in residential structures, health establishments, prisons or educational centers. Security forces and services are responsible for supervising compliance with the provisions of the Decree.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 8 Nov 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement, Militarization

Type: order

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Portugal

Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 92-A/2020

The Resolution renews the “state of calamity” across the nation and issues restrictions for specific listed municipalities, reviewable every 15 days. Restrictions include a prohibition on gatherings and events of more than five people. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Nov 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Portugal

Decree No. 2-A of 2020 Declaring a State of Emergency

The presidential decree declares a state of emergency to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The measures include significant restrictions on movement throughout the country, and a prohibition on public gatherings. The decree is in place for an initial two weeks, and can be extended. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Russia

Law No. 98-ФЗ Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on the Prevention and Response of Emergencies

The law gives the prime minister the power to declare a nationwide state of emergency on account of "the spread of a disease that poses danger to others" and to establish mandatory rules of conduct. The law also provides that elections and referenda may be postponed when a state of emergency is in effect. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Elections

Type: law

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Russia

Law No. 100-FZ Introducing Changes to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code

The amendments to Russia's Criminal Code establish new penalties for violations of quarantine orders, according to which an individual who violates the orders may be punished with fines or prison time--ranging from 40,000 rubles ($640) to up to 7 years in prison if the quarantine violation causes two or more deaths. The amendments also establish that public dissemination of false information that threatens the public health during an emergency is punishable by 3 years in prison, or up to 5 years if it leads to "grave consequences." (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information, Movement

Type: law

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Russia

Decree on measures to ensure sanitary-epidemiological wellbeing of Russian Population

The executive order suspends activities of all state and private organizations and individual enterpreneurs (with some exceptions); establishes special procedures for restrictions on movement within territories (without providing specifics); and authorizes the implementation of "restrictive and other measures" during the period of April 4-30, 2020.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Association, Movement

Type: order

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Russia

Decree of Mayor of Moscow № 34-УМ

Pursuant to powers available under the state of high alert, this order suspends various recreational activities, including by closing playgrounds, museums and movie theaters. It also suspends retail activities and provision of face-to-face services. The order imposes self-quarantine and self-reporting requirements, along with social distancing requirements and restrictions on public transportation. All public events are prohibited until April 10, 2020.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 29 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Russia

Decree of the Mayor of Moscow No. 26-УМ

The Mayoral decree among other things prohibits gatherings of more than 50 individuals. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 23 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Russia

CCTV Cameras to Enforce Quarantine Measures in Moscow

Authorities are using a network of 100,000 new CCTV cameras on the streets of Moscow, controlled from a centralized COVID-19 control center, to enforce quarantine measures using facial recognition.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 24 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Slovakia

COVID-19 Testing Regime and Curfew

This measure institutes an antigen testing regime and a curfew. Those carrying a certificate demonstrating their antigen test are exempt from the curfew. Under a subsequent decree, the Chief Hygienist was ordered to mandate that employers and store owners require a negative coronavirus test from anyone attempting to enter their premises. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 22 Oct 2020 Extended on 28 October 2020 and 5 November 2020 due to several rounds of country-wide testing.

Issue(s): Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Slovakia

Resolution 284/2020

The resolution prohibits public gatherings of more than six persons. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Slovakia

State of Emergency

The government declares a state of emergency in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Slovenia

Ordinance on the Temporary Prohibition on Public Gathering

The ordinance temporarily prohibits individuals from gathering at public meetings and other events in public places, in order to contain the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic. The prohibition remains in place until revoked. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: regulation

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South Africa

Disaster Management Regulations of 2020

Among other things, the regulations criminalize making statements intended to deceive another person about any measure taken by the government to address COVID-19. The regulations also prohibit gatherings of more than 100 people. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information

Type: order

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South Africa

State of Disaster

The declaration establishes a "state of disaster" under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002, due to the coronavirus. The declaration includes a ban on public gatherings of more than 100 people, as well as border and internal travel restrictions. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency

Type: order

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South Africa

Repeal and Replacement of Regulations Issued under Sections 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act

The regulations repeals a number of prior orders and regulations issued under the Disaster Management Act, but retain a ban on all public gatherings except at funerals (which are limited to 50 people), workplaces, and gatherings for purchase of commodities. The regulation also provides for a system of contact tracing, and establishes a national COVID-19 Tracing Database. The Database will include the identification and contact information for all persons tested for COVID-19, and the details of known or suspected contacts of any person who tested positive for COVID-19. Within six weeks of the end of the State of Disaster, the Database information must be anonymized; anonymous information may be retained for research and any other information must be destroyed. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 29 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: regulation

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South Africa

Electronic Communications, Postal and Telecommunications Directions

The regulations create numerous obligations for private actors: radio services are required to stream public announcements on COVID; internet providers are obliged to remove "fake news" from their platforms immediately after identifying it; and national address systems and databases must be made available to assist government in tracking and tracing individuals infected or exposed.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information

Type: regulation

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South Africa

Police Brutality during Lockdown

Social media users have shared videos of police brutality against violators of the lockdown that was imposed on March 26, and authorities are investigating several reports of police torture and murder of citizens accused of breaching the lockdown orders. One man was beaten to death by soldiers while he was sipping alcohol outside his house in alleged violation of lockdown regulations. As of June 1, at least 11 people had died following police action during the lockdown, and more than 230,000 people had been arrested for lockdown violations. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Jun 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: practice

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South Korea

Amendments to Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act No. 14286

Allows the government to criminally prosecute suspected patients who refuse to get tested for the virus with a fine of up to 3,000,000 KRW (~$3,000). The amendment also significantly increases the potential penalty for breaking quarantine to up to one year of imprisonment or a fine of 10,000,000 KRW (~$10,000) for the offense. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 4 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Movement

Type: law

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South Korea

Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act No. 14286

The Act, amended following the MERS epidemic in 2016 and again in 2020, gives the minister of health extensive legal authority to collect private data, without a warrant, from individuals already confirmed or suspected of having an infectious disease. The Act allows authorities to send the whereabouts of certain patients to all smartphones in the patients' vicinity via an emergency text. The Act also allows authorities to restrict or prohibit performances, assemblies, religious ceremonies, or any other large gathering of people.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Dec 2016

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Spain

Decree No. 926/2020

The Decree extends the national state of emergency. The Decree introduces new restrictions, including a curfew in public/publicly accessible spaces between 11pm and 6am; restriction of freedom of movement between autonomous regions; and limits on gatherings of people in spaces – both indoors and outdoors – to a maximum of 6 people. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 25 Oct 2020 Extended through May 9, 2021

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Spain

Decree No. 463/2020, Declaring a State of Alarm to Manage the Health Crisis Caused by Covid-19

The royal decree institutes a 15-day nationwide "state of alarm," due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among other measures, the decree limits individual movement to certain essential activities (procuring food or medical care), suspends operation of non-essential businesses, and centralizes control of health services and other critical government functions. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Sweden

Ordinance No. 114 Banning the Holding of Public Gatherings and Events

The ordinance prohibits events and assemblies larger than 50 people "for the time being," on account of the epidemic, and allows local officials to restrict smaller gatherings as well. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: regulation

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Switzerland

Regulation No. 2 on Measures to Combat the Corona Virus

As amended, the regulation, issued under the Epidemics Act, prohibits any gatherings of 5 or more people in public areas. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: regulation

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Switzerland

Regulation on Measures to Combat the Corona Virus

The regulation, issued under the Epidemics Act, prohibits public and private events of 1,000 or more people. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 28 Feb 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: regulation

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Turkey

Restrictions and Measures Circulars

The Circulars introduce a complex set of restrictions, including weekday and weekend curfews, additional restrictions for persons over 65 years and under 20 years, travel restrictions, suspension of the operation of certain businesses, and other restrictions. Persons may travel in certain circumstances, provided that they obtain permission from the Travel Permit Boards. Officials may also determine the number of people who may enter crowded streets or squares, if necessary. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Nov 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Turkey

Coronavirus Measures of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Letter No. E.48575

The order prohibits CSOs from conducting general assembly meetings online. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 9 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Association, Assembly

Type: order

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Turkey

Curfew Circular on Those 65 and Over and with Chronic Diseases

Turkey's Ministry of Interior restricted citizens over the age of 65, as well as the chronically ill, from leaving their residence. These citizens are prohibited from walking in public areas such as parks and roads, and may not travel by public transport. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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Turkey

Additional Circular on Coronavirus Measures to Provincial Governorships

The circular postpones all meetings and activities of civil society organizations that bring people physically together, including trainings, workshops, and general assembly meetings. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Association, Assembly

Type: order

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Turkey

Repression of Health Workers

The government has arrested, detained, and investigated doctors and other medical professionals for criticizing the official pandemic response. Trade associations representing health workers also report the repression of protests led by doctors related to COVID-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 29 Sep 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Expression

Type: practice

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Turkey

Censorship of Media Criticism

Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) has imposed administrative fines on media outlets after those outlets have presented coverage that was critical of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 14 Aug 2020

Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information

Type: practice

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Turkey

Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project

The Turkish Health Ministry launches the Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project to ensure COVID-19 patients are following quarantine measures. Downloading the app is mandatory for all confirmed coronavirus patients, and those found to be leaving their homes will receive automated text messages and calls.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 9 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Turkey

Arrests for Covid-Related Social Media

According to the Interior Minister, the government has arrested more than 400 people for "provocative" posts about the coronavirus outbreak on social media. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 25 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Expression

Type: practice

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United Kingdom

Coronavirus Act 2020

The Act gives UK authorities emergency powers to address the coronavirus pandemic, including the power to detain individuals deemed “potentially infectious" and put them in isolation facilities. Individuals who fail to comply may be subject to a £1,000 fine. The Act also enables the government to restrict public events and other gatherings to prevent or otherwise control the spread of coronavirus. Under the Act, surveillance warrants may be in place for up to twelve days before they must be reviewed by judicial authorities, up from the current three days. The Act must be renewed by parliament every six months. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: law

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United Kingdom

Nationwide Stay-at-Home Order

Pubs, bars and restaurants are closed with exceptions for takeaway and delivery services. Residents are ordered to stay at home, with exceptions for education, for work that cannot be performed remotely, for exercise and outdoor recreation, for medical needs, for shopping, and for caring for vulnerable people. Non-essential shops are ordered to be closed. The measures are temporary and will end in early December. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 31 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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United States

Executive Order 2020-67 (COVID-19)

The Governor of Michigan declared a state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act on March 10, 2020. Under the Act, both houses of the legislature must approve a request to extend the state of emergency, otherwise it expires after 28 days. While both houses agreed to extend the emergency until April 30, they did not agree to extend it further. In response, on April 29, the Governor declared the emergency over, but she then declared a new emergency under the Emergency Management Act one minute later on the same day, thus triggering a new, 28-day period in which the emergency is in effect, but does not require legislative approval. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 29 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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United States

States of Emergency in All 50 States

As of April 7, 2020, all 50 U.S. states have declared a "state of emergency" in response to COVID-19. 42 states have issued orders urging residents to stay at home. Several of the remaining states have stay at home orders in parts of the state. Washington State was the first to declare a state of emergency on March 2, 2020. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 7 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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United States

Banning Spread of False Information in Puerto Rico

The order by Puerto Rico's governor makes it illegal for media outlets or social media accounts “to transmit or allow the transmission” of “false information with the intention of creating confusion, panic, or public hysteria, with regards to any proclamation or executive order declaring an emergency, disaster or curfew.” (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 6 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information

Type: order

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United States

Measures to Contain the Spread of Coronavirus in Puerto Rico

The governor's executive order establishes a lockdown, requiring residents to stay in their homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week between March 31 and April 12, 2020. The order provides limited circumstances for leaving between 5am and 7pm. Under the order, "breaching, disrespecting, or disobeying" the curfew may be punished with up to 6 months in jail and a $5000 fine. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Movement

Type: order

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United States

Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak

Declares that the Covid-19 outbreak constitutes a "national emergency." (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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United States

Measures Affecting Public Record Requests and Public Meeting Requirements

Federal agencies and state and local governments have issued a mix of policy directives, orders, and laws regarding the impact of COVID-19 on public record requests and public meeting requirements. Some states, such as New Jersey or Washington DC, have suspended deadlines for responding to public record requests for the duration of the emergency. With regard to public meeting requirements, most states have changed their rules to allow for virtual meetings that the public can observe, but some, such as Illinois and Nebraska, have not explicitly provided for public participation in virtual meetings. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Access to Information

Type: policy

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United States

Delays in Responses to Freedom of Information Requests

A press freedom organization has documented more than 130 instances of state and local officials citing the pandemic as a reason for delayed responses to freedom of information (FOIA) requests. Some state and local jurisdictions have indicated that they plan not to respond to FOIA requests until the end of the pandemic. These delays have adversely impacted coverage of the pandemic, among other issues, as journalists are unable to obtain public records and other government information. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information

Type: practice

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United States

Arrests for False Information Related to Coronavirus

According to multiple reports, individuals in the state of Texas have been arrested and accused of publishing false reports related to coronavirus. Arrests have been carried out by state police as well as the FBI. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 24 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Expression

Type: practice

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