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Ministry: Parents cannot be asked for Covid certificate at school events

A first-grade ceremony at a school in Estonia.
A first-grade ceremony at a school in Estonia. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

As parents are not extraneous people at school events, they cannot be asked for a coronavirus certificate before entering, Ministry of Education and Research crisis manager Rain Sannik said.

Since it has been determined that parents are not extraneous persons in the context of school events, they should not be asked for the certificate, Sannik wrote in a response to Jakob Westholm High School director Rando Kuustik.

Sannik pointed to a statement (link in Estonian) made by Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise in August, in which the chancellor writes that schools cannot take away the rights of parents, which includes their right to represent the child and act in their best interest. A parent had turned to the justice chancellor to ask if schools have the right to ban parents from events at the start of the school year if they do not have the proper coronavirus certificates.

"The specific letter and statement handled things related to ceremonies, but also found that parents are not extraneous persons at school, since cooperation between the parent and the school is in the best interest of the child, the school cannot leave the parent out of matters involving school," Sannik noted.

Rando Kuustik wrote to the ministry to find out what he should do as a school manager to protect the health of parents and teachers at a Christmas concert taking place at a school.

The ministry's crisis manager responded by saying that the school should consider implementing measures, which restrict parents less. "While organizing the concert, it is possible that you have already considered holding it at a time when dispersion is possible, also limiting the number of participants, using pre-registration, having many concerts instead of one, etc." Sannik said.

The ministry official said schools should disperse people at events and also consider streaming the event online, while also taking the epidemiological situation into consideration.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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