Prime Minister: Coronavirus exit strategy with cabinet early next week

A masked Jüri Ratas at new IT and foreign trade minister Raul Siem's nomination ceremony at the presidential palace late last week. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The government's exit strategy from the emergency situation it declared in response to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 has almost taken shape, and will be up for discussion and approval at governmental level early next week, closely followed by being presented to the Riigikogu, interest groups, and the general public, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said Wednesday.

Appearing at MPs' question time at the Riigikogu, Ratas confirmed that the emergency situation is likely to be extended into May. Some government ministers including Mart Helme (EKRE) and Tanel Kiik (Center) had already said as much this week, but since Ratas is officially the person in charge of the emergency situation, to use the official English terminology of government orders translated into English, his statements should be the final say.

The prime minister also noted that while some restrictions in place currently may be relaxed before this month is over, the bulk of the easing will take place in May, with some residual restrictions lasting beyond that, BNS reports.

Ratas affirmed that he is personally the biggest supporter of a swift end to restrictions and the emergency situation, BNS reports, adding that if he could do so now, he would.

"However, the figures concerning the coronavirus outbreak do not indicate that we can end the emergency situation yet," Ratas told the Riigikogu.

The cabinet is to discuss the extension on Thursday; Ratas says his proposal is that this should be for at least two more weeks.

The emergency situation was originally scheduled to end on the last day of April.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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