Head of scientific council: We do not support nationwide restrictions

Irja Lutsar.
Irja Lutsar. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

In response to recent COVID-19 outbreaks in Estonia, the government's scientific council, headed by virologist Irja Lutsar, has once again convened to discuss measures to alleviate spread of the virus. Lutsar told ERR that no nationwide restrictions are on the table, however.

The government will discuss the council's new recommendations on Thursday. Lutsar said she did not wish to shed light on any of the proposals, but noted there is no reason to establish any nationwide restrictions.

Lutsar said: "The outbreak, as far as we can see, is based in Tartu. We will stay with our current stance that any new restrictions need to be focused and justified. So we will certainly not be making any proposals that would affect all of Estonia. The council discussed yesterday that we should not speak and scare people off with new restrictions, rather talk about the rules and regulations that we are already aware of.

"I do not think this is the time for strict restrictions. I can not say that that time will not come in the future but we must adapt to this new normality right now.

Lutsar acknowledged however that they do have a proposal for night clubs, which have been the source of recent outbreaks in Tartu. She praised Shooters bar in Tartu which closed its doors immediately after a security guard working at the establishment was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The council also proposes to replace the quarantine requirement on border points with rapid testing because surveillance for self-isolation is complicated to conduct.

Lutsar did note however that testing is also complicated. "One of the alternatives we proposed - on the first day and on the seventh day. But there are logistics involved obviously and that needs to be discussed."


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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