Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise has said the national closure of sports facilities over coronavirus fears is unconstitutional.
Writing in a social media comment, Madise said that: "It is unfortunate that amateur, children's and youth sport do not have strong spokespeople who could convince politicians and the research council, as my speaking up was not sufficient."
Part of Madise's role is overseeing and safeguarding the functioning of the Estonian constitution.
"I, too, sent ... a picture of an empty athletics hall, and explained how ice rinks, swimming pools and gyms work, and that when rules are complied with, contracting the virus is near impossible; if rules are broken, it is the violators that must be punished, not everyone else. Those imposing the restrictions were not convinced by that," Madise continued, according to BNS.
"As we know, there are already not enough people practicing recreational sports, which is why it is correct that only a few people are subject to these restrictions. It is becoming evident in the present crisis that the public agrees to illogical bans that couldn't possibly serve their purpose. What's even sadder is that it's now clear just how unwilling people are to understand that some of us need a pool to maintain their mental and physical health, some need the church and some need classical concerts. An activity not being important for me does not mean everyone else should be prevented from practicing it," Madise, who was commenting on a post by, and on the social media account of, Reform MP Jürgen Ligi, continued.
Ligi himself had posted that: "The virus cannot withstand chlorinated water and soap, according to WHO, and ventilation in swimming pools is also at a different level. While being a convenient decision for the government, this is a tragedy for thousands of 'addicts' [of recreational sports]. Any recommendations to go for a walk in the woods or exercise at the beach are about as meaningful as recommending the government or epidemiologists use pens for their work."
Editor: Andrew Whyte