On Thursday, the government made a decision to require coronavirus certificates for children over the age of 12 at public events. Mikk Granström, program manager of the Just Film youth film festival, told ERR that the restrictions will likely cut the festival's viewer numbers down by half.
"While we are used to getting 15,000-20,000 visitors at Just Film usually, it is too much to hope for now. Estimates today show that we will fall by a half compared to last year," the festival manager told ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Thursday.
At the same time, he noted that it is understandable that if the coronavirus is spreading among young people, the risk of them taking the illness back home to their parents cannot be taken.
"For young people to be able to go to movies, theaters and culture events is welcomed. Certainly, the first message is for young people to get vaccinated. But their will is often not enough and the parents' motivation is also necessary, which is why this needs to be looked at as a whole package - if parents do not agree and child does, there is a clear divide," Granström said.
He noted that it is difficult to conduct mass testing for children at cinemas and added that testing is also expensive. "Children will definitely not pay it out of their pocket change. No one has that kind of pocket change. But what is most important is that if children are tested in schools, there should be a common system to make tests last during a certain period. So the child can go to their hobby and sports groups, enjoy culture and go to museums," the festival manager said.
He said going to cinemas, theaters and museums might not seem like a big loss, but they play an important role in education.
Granström admitted that he fears people will lose the habit of going to culture establishments. "But to win that back - building it up has taken decades. So this testing system should be looked at, if the child is tested in school, perhaps their test can be valid for longer than just one class."
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste