Estonian pro cyclist Tanel Kangert (EF Pro Cycling) believes the government's plans to restrict public events due to the coronavirus pandemic are excessive.
"This is a very complicated situation. It is complicated for the decision-makers as well, but not all measures are proportionate. We cannot deny that this [the coronavirus] is something bad. We can be affected by it, but the likelihood of that happening is very small," Kangert told R2 on Thursday.
"I think it is short-sighted to ban all events outdoors, including sports events. I believe this can leave long-term negative consequences," Kangert added. "Challenging yourself is one of the best things you could do and if it is banned for a whole year, many people will find unhealthy substitutes."
The government said that no major events are to take place through to the end of August, following a cabinet meeting discussing public events scheduled for the upcoming months, though the government says it was too early to say whether smaller public gatherings with a limited number of attendees might be possible in July and August.
The cyclist says it is not only a matter of sports. "If no summer concerts, outdoor events will take place, let me ask: where is the fun in living? I find just lingering, waiting for everything to get better next year, very depressing."
"I suggest the decision-makers think about whether restricting sports and culture to the extent currently planned is reasonable," Kangert added.
Even though municipalities are allowed to open their sports halls and sports fields from Saturday, Tallinn City Government is still going to keep them closed until the end of the emergency situation because there is no workforce to ensure safety requirements.
Editor: Anders Nõmm