Family physicians will not issue mask-wearing exemptions

A sign asking passengers to wear a mask on a Tallinn bus.
A sign asking passengers to wear a mask on a Tallinn bus. Source: Helen Wright / ERR

Head of the family doctors' association Le Vallikivi said situations where a person wearing a mask is actually medically contraindicated are very rare. If a patient really needs such a certificate, it will be issued by a specialized doctor and not family physicians.

"Those with chronic lung disease and asthma, lung malignancies should certainly be wearing masks, instead. Unless too much of their lung tissue is damaged, they need the extra oxygen," Vallikivi said. She added that an oxygen mask in those cases would do.

The family physician noted that cases in which wearing a mask is contraindicated justifiably are very rare. This could be someone that has difficulties putting the mask on due to a physical disability or people who need extra aid to breathe on a daily basis.

People with respiratory diseases should wear masks to protect themselves, Vallikivi added. "We do not issue these exemptions. I would like to look deeply into the eyes of the family physicians that have issued certificates so far," she said.

The orders approved by the Riigikogu on Thursday will make mask-wearing mandatory in public indoor places and will also make mask-wearing checks more strict. Things like scarves, pipe scarves and collars will no longer be suitable replacements for facemasks from next Monday.

People who cannot wear masks for medical reasons must prove it with a respective certificate from a doctor.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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