The government's coronavirus scientific council has discussed changing the obligation of wearing masks indoors, though a clear agreement wasn't reached, head of the council, Professor Irja Lutsar, says. The approach of summer and relatively warm temperatures may be a factor, she said.
"We argued intensively when would be the best time to remove the obligation and then remove all recommendations. We couldn't agree on certain criteria, we wanted to observe a situation a bit, but the discussions will continue next Monday," Lutsar said.
Lutsar said that the relaxation of the restrictions derives from the so-called traffic light system describing the danger levels. "We have to wait a little longer," she said.
When exactly will the mask requirement be removed, Lutsar couldn't say exactly but said that the question is in weeks. "I hope we are talking about weeks. But it is largely dependant on the epidemiological situation," she said.
Lutsar said that the scientific council also discussed removing the mask requirement in schools before the rest of the society.
"There's a possibility that in schools, children's age and activities could be seen. This is purely my opinion that it's more reasonable to establish the same rules everywhere," Lutsar said.
Removing the general mask obligation also takes into account the air temperature, which will inevitably rise as summer approaches.
"Of course we look at the outside temperature, which doesn't really remind me of summer right now. We have never recommended or made it mandatory to wear masks outdoors in Estonia, and we will not recommend it in the future," Lutsar said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino