Chairman of Isamaa Helir-Valdor Seeder says that the new coronavirus restrictions established by the government are confusing, adding they should instead be both stricter and clearer.
"The restrictions don't answer my expectations and wishes and, a whole, they are eclectic and confusing," Seeder told ETV current affairs show "Esimene stuudio" Thursday.
"There are a lot of questions that need to be talked through in the future if we want to get rid of this virus at some point. And the package concerning schools hasn't worked," Seeder added.
Seeder said the restrictions should be harsher, instead of simply amending and establishing new restrictions every week.
"I think the restrictions should rather be stricter, but clearer, simpler and more understandable. Currently, if we go down the road of establishing new restrictions, then this confusion can only rise, as we can't manage the information. And we can't actually fulfill it either," he said.
"I think establishing different restrictions in all different areas - certain restrictions in entertainment, others in vaccination and the third in testing and all new regulations in schools and as we can see, local governments are deciding individually, which doesn't go with the government's education policies and restrictions - when we go this way, society is moving towards being less organized," Seeder said.
He also criticized the timeline of the restrictions announcing restrictions for schools on Thursday that should be valid from Monday.
Seeder says he supports establishing testing requirements at schools, at the same time, he said that the requirement should have been established earlier.
"We have requested testing for a long time and it should have been implemented in September when the school started. Testing in itself is right. But as I said, there is only one day to implement it: there are no tests yet in schools, how they get there, who and how they will start taking the tests if the children are positive, how they are separated from the rest, how they get home, and so on. These issues need to be addressed by schools all over the weekend. This is obviously too late," he said.
In his opinion, however, the issue of the children's vaccination certificate has been badly handled. "This is not right and what I think it is in fact very wrong, the issue of vaccinating children. Can you imagine if a parent does not want to vaccinate their child - and I am sure there are a lot of such parents in Estonia - while at the same time the child wants to go to the cinema with his friends, then to what mental state we put this child, what we create in this family, what tensions," he said.
Seeder pointed out the message of the head of the government's scientific council Irja Lutsar that the individual benefits of vaccination for children are relatively small, while younger people have more side effects than parents. Seeder said that the World Health Organization also doesn't support the general vaccination requirement.
Seeder added that vaccinating children does not reduce the burden on hospitals, as children do not usually end up in a hospital with the coronavirus anyway.
Seeder stressed that he is not a vaccine skeptic himself, but that he supported the vaccination of groups at risk. "We have thousands of people from the risk group unvaccinated, we should spend our energy on this," he said.
Seeder: The health of the coalition is worse than that of the opposition
Seeder also said on the show that the health of the governing coalition is not good.
"I would say that the health of the coalition working together is much worse than the opposition's. When members of the government communicate with each other through the media and make proposals through the media, the relationship and atmosphere there is certainly not good," Seeder said.
"This is also one of the reasons why logical and sensible solutions are not reached in time, but decisions are delaying, in line with or ahead of events, to prevent certain restrictions or decisions from actually being implemented and the virus spreading," he added.
Editor: Roberta Vaino