Minister: Tougher coronavirus measures may not be needed

Health minister Tanel Kiik (Center).
Health minister Tanel Kiik (Center). Source: Government Office

More stringent coronavirus restrictions may not be necessary after all, health minister Tanel Kiik (Center) says, stating that much hinges on how the effects of restrictions introduced at the beginning of the week turn out.

Speaking Friday afternoon, Kiik told ERR on Friday: "Our main goal right now is to get the spread of the virus to stop through compliance with the established rules and through vaccination."

"The package [of additional restrictions compiled by the Health Board], which would arrive with the cabinet on Tuesday, will come into play if the current rules prove insufficient," Kiik added.

Kiik's reasoning was a stabilization of infection rates which may or may not prove a longer term trend.

"Looking at the infection figures, the situation has stabilized very slightly. At present, it is too soon to say if this indicates a break in the trend or if it's a temporary phenomenon. We'll know more in a few days," he added.

Figures for the week starting November 1 will have to be processed before a decision can be made, the minister said, while in the meantime the government will also be monitoring the effects of the latest restrictions, introduced last Monday.

Speaking at a press conference mid-week, Kiik said that while work was being done to avoid lockdown where possible, depending on how the figures went, tougher measures may be on their way.

Health Board acting director general Mari-Anne Härma said Thursday evening that a new restrictions package was being worked on, one which was likely to be more stringent.

President Alar Karis criticized the Reform/Center coalition's handling of the current coronavirus situation at a press conference in Tartu on Friday, adding the government could have done much better and singling out poor communication in particular.

He also added that public behavior in adhering to restrictions was a factor.

Estonia currently has one of the highest coronavirus rates in Europe.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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