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Finland: Parliament Approves Early Voting in Municipal Elections at Military Garrisons Because of COVID-19 Pandemic

(May 13, 2021) On May 7, 2021, the Finnish Parliament voted to amend the country’s Election Act to allow military recruits who are completing their mandatory or voluntary military service to vote early at their place of military service (garnisonerna). The amendment does not apply to persons completing civil service in lieu of military service. […]

Germany: Government Rescinds COVID-19 Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated People

(May 12, 2021) On May 9, 2021, the Ordinance to Regulate the Easing of and Exceptions to Restrictions on Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 (COVID-19 Restrictions Exceptions Ordinance) entered into force in Germany. The ordinance restores some rights regarding private gatherings, curfews, and sporting activities of people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are […]

Israel: National Labor Court Rejects Requests by Unvaccinated Employees to Return to Work without Frequent Coronavirus Tests

(May 11, 2021) In two consecutive decisions last month, Israeli National Labor Court (NLC) Judge Roi Poliak denied appeals challenging the Tel Aviv and Haifa regional labor courts’ rejections of requests for temporary injunctions against employers who required coronavirus vaccinations or frequent testing as a condition for return to work. The first decision centers on […]

Iceland: New COVID-19 Rules for Incoming International Travelers Take Effect

(May 4, 2021) On April 27, 2021, new rules took effect in Iceland governing international arrivals in the country. The rules prohibit nonessential travel to Iceland from countries that register more than 700 new cases of COVID-19 infections per 100,000 inhabitants on a rolling 14-day average in accordance with the European Centre for Disease Prevention […]

Israel: Civil Servants May Be Required to Present a “Green Pass” or Covid-19 Negative Test Result to Return to Workplace

(May 4, 2021) On April 7, 2021, Israel’s Civil Service Commission issued rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the workplace and reduce the health risks for civil servants and those with whom they come into contact. The rules were also designed to ensure the provision of essential services to the public in […]

France: High Court Issues Ruling on Insanity Defense

(Apr. 29, 2021) On April 14, 2020, the Cour de cassation, France’s highest court for civil and criminal matters, confirmed that defendants could not be judged under criminal law if they committed murder while in a state of delirium that eliminated (aboli) their discernment. This decision concludes a case referred to in the press as […]

Germany: Uniform Federal COVID-19 “Emergency Brake” Introduced

(Apr. 27, 2021) On April 23, 2021, the Fourth Act to Protect the Public in the Event of an Epidemic Situation of National Significance (Fourth Act) entered into force in Germany. The Fourth Act amends the Infectious Diseases Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz, IfSG) and introduces a federal “emergency brake” that provides for uniform restrictions in all […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Finds Sick Leave Limit for Public Employees Discriminatory

(Apr. 23, 2021) On March 3, 2021, the Italian Constitutional Court declared that a law limiting the sick leave available to seriously ill public employees is unconstitutional. The court found that the law is unreasonable because it sets an 18-month maximum amount of sick leave for an inability to work caused by an illness itself […]

Switzerland: Access to Medical Cannabis Broadened, Pilot Projects for Nonmedical Cannabis to Be Launched

(Apr. 22, 2021) On March 19, 2021, the Swiss parliament approved an amendment to the Swiss Narcotics Act that allows broader access to cannabis for medical use. The amendment is subject to an optional referendum. (Swiss Constitution art. 141.) The deadline for collecting enough signatures to hold a referendum is July 8, 2021. In addition, on […]

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait: Authorities Impose New Preventive Measures to Combat Spread of COVID-19 Virus during Ramadan

(Apr. 15, 2021) Between March 30 and April 7, 2021, authorities in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait announced new preventive measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the Islamic holy month of the Ramadan. The month of Ramadan began on April 12 and runs through May 12. Saudi Arabia On April 7, […]