Vaccines will not be compulsory for employees in contact with customers

Empty cafe in Tallinn.
Empty cafe in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The government's decision to only allow participation in public events if the person is vaccinated against the coronavirus or recovered from it will not be extended to workers in the sectors.

This means professions such as actors, barmen, hairdressers and any other workers who are in contact with their customers can continue working if they present proof of a recent negative coronavirus test if the employer's risk assessment does not rule it out.

A explanatory referendum sent out by the Ministry of Social Affairs says employers will have to ensure the safety of the work environment by mapping out risk factors and implementing measures to combat them.

"Employee vaccinations, checking for COVID-19 recovery certificates or testing employees with SARS-CoV-2 tests are particularly relevant to lessen the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Of course, employers are allowed to use other measures such as obliging workers to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). The government recommends everyone work from a distance," said social ministry undersecretary Sten Andreas Ehrlich.

The ministry also recommends employers use options provided by the Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) to promote vaccinations.

"Companies with at least 30 employees can ask for an overview of their company's vaccination coverage to plan further actions accordingly - should they do more to promote awareness or are the workers already vaccinated and should be recognized," the social ministry official said.

"A company with at least five vaccine applicants can call vaccinators to the location. It is also possible to invite expert lecturers to the company to inform people and to alleviate fears. They will speak about things related to vaccines and vaccinations and will answer questions. There are no costs involved in inviting a lecturer, but there must be at least five employees interested in it," Ehrlich said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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