Kallas to address Riigikogu on covid restrictions following Isamaa appeal
The prime minister is to address the Riigikogu on Monday and will provide an overview of the current epidemiological situation in Estonia, following the introduction of a new round of restrictions which enter into force on the same day, and calls from the opposition Isamaa party to involve the legislature more in such decisions.
Kallas will address both the Riigikogu's social affairs committee, and the entire chamber, and said Sunday that: "The Riigikogu, which represents the Estonian people, should not be left out on such an important fundamental issue as restricting people's freedoms of movement and giving additional obligations to local governments.
"New restrictions and the differing treatment of people need to be debated in parliament," she added.
Kallas was responding to an address issued last Wednesday by Isamaa and its leader Helir-Valdor Seeder, proposing the prime minister appear before the Riigikogu as soon as possible, to give an overview of the spread of the coronavirus and the planned restrictions.
Kallas noted in her response that the epidemiological situation in Estonia is critical, hospitals have been forced to restrict scheduled treatment and the government has introduced stricter checking measures on vaccination certification.
The overview before the Riigikogu's social affairs committee will being at 11.10 a.m. Monday, while the statement in the Rigiikogu's great hall will take place from 3 p.m.
Monday sees the introduction of new, stricter measures aimed at combatting the viral spread, including the removal of proof of negative coronavirus test results as an acceptable form of certification in entering virtually all public events.
Calls to involve the legislature more – the restrictions are put in place by government order – have come from various quarters while a large-scale anti-vaccination protest took place in Tallinn's Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square) on Saturday.
More information on the new restrictions is here.
The head of government and her ministers do not sit at the Riigikogu, but must appear regularly there to answer questions, present policy and for other, often ceremonial purposes.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte