Ratas cautions against larger events in wake of coronavirus outbreak

Prime minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Prime minister Jüri Ratas has said that large events, meaning those with more than around 100 attendees, were not advisable given the current coronavirus outbreak. Ratas said he will propose this and other measures at the regular cabinet meeting Thursday morning.

Answering a question from opposition MP Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform), Ratas said that: "Tomorrow (i.e. Thursday) I intend to make proposals to the government and cabinet to improve the governance structure ... and to implement some very concrete measures, including concerning specific events within Estonia that are not international events," he said. Wheel.

"I think there are clear recommendations that events with a hundred or more people should not currently be organized. I think this is quite specific," he continued.

"We should look here at all the different meetings and gatherings and also, say, in day care centers, as well as at exhibitions, museums, etc. I think today we are in the best sport to actually make very specific recommendations on this, and that's what I will do. I think the government is likely to consider it tomorrow, and will make its own decisions the too, "Ratas said.

The prime minister also noted his government is currently working to mitigate economic damage caused by the coronavirus.

"To this end, Estonia and the EU also have a number of tools that the government will not hesitate to use, be it supporting companies in the affected sectors through fiscal measures, or a better and more flexible approach by [government agency] Enterprise Estonia, and possibly increasing public investment," he continued.

The Health Board (Terviseamet) recommended Wednesday that international events due in the near future in Estonia be postponed or canceled; at least three major events, including Tallinn Music Week and the Latitude59 tech conference have been put back to late August.

A total of 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus have been identified in Estonia so far.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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