Supreme Court throws out National Opera vaccination complaint

National Opera (Rahvusooper) director Ott Maaten.
National Opera (Rahvusooper) director Ott Maaten. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Supreme Court has thrown out a complaint from an employee of the National Opera (Rahvusooper) about their employer's requirement to get vaccinated against Covid.

The second-tier administrative court had found that the case did not fall within its competency, and as a result it was sent to the top-tier court.

National Opera director Ott Maaten told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) that over 90 percent of the organizations staff are now vaccinated, adding that only a handful of those affected by the directive requiring vaccination were still unvaccinated – in other words most of the original holdouts had now been vaccinated.

Maaten told AK: "These are creative people from the orchestra and the choir, but are also people who do not appear on stage, but rather work in customer and audience services," adding that the opera house will make a decision on these individuals in the new year.

Originally, 70 employees of the opera house, whose home is the Estonia Theater in central Tallinn, had requested exemption from the vaccination requirement when it was introduced, though only one individual took the matter to court.

Margus Allikmaa, board member of the performing arts association (Etendusasutuste liit), said smaller theaters had not put in a requirement for staff to get vaccinated, in case it spelled the end of activities should some staff refuse and have to leave – but also because risk levels were lower, he said.

"Naturally, the Estonia Theater is a big hall and their risk analysis showed that with such a large number of people in such a large theater, it is very reasonable for everyone to be vaccinated," Allikmaa said.

Unvaccinated national opera employees have been informed verbally that their contracts expire December 31, AK reported.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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