Dear Editor,

It is evident that the Government’s decision to impose a border lockdown is the single-most effective strategy in keeping Vanuatu’s ‘COVID-19-free’ status since the pandemic began 2 years ago.

As a result of this, citizens of Vanuatu continue to enjoy all the ‘freedoms’ enshrined in the Constitution.

Therefore, any change of decision to re-open our borders will potentially have an adverse impact on our freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom to live freely and all the other freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

The question is, whether a citizen’s rights under the constitution can be infringed by the decision to re-open our borders? Can a citizen initiate a ‘Public Interest Case’ in Court to challenge any decision to re-open our borders?

I say this because I don’t think it is a responsible decision to re-open our borders when it is very clear that our health infrastructure is inadequate, our resources (both human and financial) is lacking and 100% of our young population are NOT protected and 90% of our adult population are NOT vaccinated.

Until the government can assure citizens that it has 110% of resources and infrastructure to contain any community outbreak, or have achieved 90% immunization of the population (Herd Immunity) and have a strategy to protect children under 18 years of age, borders should remain CLOSED, period.

Taken in this context, I say that re-opening our borders will be a direct infringement of citizens’ rights under the Constitution, therefore it must be stopped.

If a Court Order is required, then I request the Public Solicitor to file a Public Interest Case or a Judicial Review (JR) case to ensure our borders remain close.

Concerned Citizen

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