Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) on Saturday discussed the difficult regional coronavirus situation with representatives of Põlva Municipality and health officials and emphasized that local governments can take their own measures on top of government restrictions. Kallas urged the municipality to reduce contacts between people.
The crisis committee of Põlva Municipality that is one of the worst hit areas in Estonia in terms of the coronavirus turned to the government on Friday to call for tougher Covid restrictions everywhere in Estonia.
PM Kaja Kallas said on Saturday that she held an emergency meeting with Põlva Municipality Mayor Georg Pelisaar, head of the Põlva Hospital, head of the southern medical headquarters, the Health Board's regional director and emergency medical chief. The participants discussed the reasons for Põlva's difficult situation and what could be done.
Kallas pointed to Health Board data that shows infection in Põlva Municipality is happening at events, schools, apartment buildings and family gatherings.
"Local governments sport different levels of infection and vaccination, and every local government has the right to take additional steps to contain the spread of the virus in addition to the government's control measures. I have just stressed this point when meeting with the Põlva Municipality mayor and urged him to consider and immediately take measures to reduce all manner of contacts between people," Kallas explained.
The PM recommends canceling or postponing all public entertainment and sporting events, trainings and other events and ensuring that only people with vaccination or recovery certificates can participate in controlled activities (except in the case of 12-17-year-olds who can attend with a negative test result).
Kallas also recommends making sure masks are worn where necessary.
The PM also urges heads of the municipality to promote vaccination as only 57 percent of local residents are fully vaccinated.
Kallas said that school operators need to make sure schools remain in their own bubbles so to speak and avoid extracurricular events or excursions.
Another proposal made by the PM is to consider how to test students in a way to make sure infected children do not take the bus to school and come into contact with others.
Editor: Marcus Turovski