The decision, which is reported by the newspaper Público comes as a result of an appeal by the Public Ministry (MP) to a decision taken by the Ponta Delgada Judicial Court to release a man who complained about the 14-day quarantine imposed by the Azorean government.

After the decision of the court of the first instance, the MP appealed to the Constitutional Court (TC), but the judges of the Raton Palace considered that “all the disciplinary rules of a right of liberty or guarantee need prior authorisation from the Assembly of the Republic ", a requirement that" gains particular relevance when conditions to rights are at stake ".

Since 26 March, all passengers arriving in the Azores were obliged to stay 14 days in confinement in a hotel indicated by the Azorean executive, as a restrictive measure to stop the evolution of the pandemic of Covid-19, with the expenses for accommodation to be paid by passengers not resident in the archipelago.

Following the decision of the judicial court to release the plaintiff, the President of the Government of the Azores announced that, as of 17 May, passengers arriving in the region would be able to choose between four options: travelling with a negative test done before departure; undergo a test upon arrival and wait for the result; stay in voluntary quarantine for a period of 14 days in a specific hotel, with the costs charged by the regional government, or return to the destination of origin.

The complainant, an airline pilot who works for a foreign airline, has a family home in São Miguel, where his wife lives, had returned to Portugal on 8 May, remaining in Lisbon until 10 May, the only day where there was a flight to São Miguel.

He said he landed in Ponta Delgada on 10 May and explained that, during the flight, he was given a questionnaire by the cabin staff, which he presumed was issued by the regional health authority, containing questions about where he came from, whether he had certain symptoms and contact details.

According to the TC's decision, on the same occasion, he was given a partially completed declaration, which he should complete with his identification and signature, stating that failure to quarantine would incur a crime of disobedience, a statement that he did not agree with.

He ended up, however, being transported on a bus, escorted by a police car, to a hotel in Ponta Delgada, being informed that he could not leave the room, where he would have to stay for the next 14 days, despite the test that he did being negative.

Alleging “illegal deprivation of liberty”, he advanced with a request for immediate release ('habeas corpus') against the imposition of the Government of the Azores.

The Judicial Court of Ponta Delgada ended up giving him reason and ordered his release, but the MP appealed to the TC, which has now stated that the mandatory quarantine measure imposed by the Government of the Azores violates the constitution.