Health Board: Restrictions should not be relaxed before May

A social distancing sign in Tallinn.
A social distancing sign in Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

This week the government will discuss the fate of the current coronavirus restrictions. The Health Board thinks the restrictions should stay in place until May.

Deputy director of the Health Board Mari-Anne Härma said the lifting of restrictions should only start in May. She said the number of new cases is rapidly decreasing and there are fewer coronavirus patients being admitted to hospital, but the numbers are still high.

"Nothing in this epidemic is moving quickly. Similarly, the critical numbers we are watching are not falling very quickly," Härma said. "Although we are already seeing a decline in cases, hospital treatment is what we need to fall in order to live safely in Estonia." On Monday, 603 people were being treated in hospitals across the country.

Professor Irja Lutsar, head of the government's scientific advisory council, said on Monday that if the infection rate continues to fall then restrictions can start at the end of the month.  

Speaking after a meeting of the council on Monday night, she said the lifting of restrictions should start with schools. "This is probably the most important thing for the future. For children to get a proper education. But how and where these relaxations can be done and whether they are for all classes or all schools are a matter of debate and it is too early to say what and how," Lutsar said.

The Riigikogu's state budget committee has said the government should publish a plan for the relaxation of restrictions.

Committee chairman Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said: "We are interested in a specific action plan on what will happen in the coming days, in the coming weeks - how to get out of the restrictions."

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) has said the government is drafting a plan and will continue to discuss the issue on Tuesday. 

Earlier this month the government said the current restrictions on schools, stores and restaurants would stay in place until April 25. They were initially due to end on April 11. ERR News has republished the restrictions here.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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