Kiik: Scientific council recommends against restoring negative test results

Tanel Kiik.
Tanel Kiik. Source: Government Office

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said that the COVID-19 scientific advisory body has recommended against restoring antigen rapid test results as a way to gain access to restaurants and entertainment venues.

Kiik told the Riigikogu that ministers listened to the advisory council's proposals at the Tuesday cabinet meeting and that everyone agrees that Covid rules will have to be relaxed sooner or later.

"The main concern today is that the number of cases is still climbing. Hospitalization has also not come down and is stable or even increasing, which is why it was the council's proposal and recommendation not to accept tests as alternative proof of immunization," Kiik said.

"That said, the council welcomes the debate and supports a gradual return to normality," the minister added.

Kiik told ERR that the government will return to the matter two weeks from now.

"The cabinet did not decide to lift any measures today, while I'm sure we will continue these debates and deliberations over Covid rules and organization," Kiik remarked.

"We can see that the situation has changed in light of the Omicron variant and hospitalization remains considerably lower than it has in previous waves due to the fact three-quarters of the adult population has been immunized," Kiik said.

The Center Party has in recent days promoted restoring a negative rapid test result on par with a Covid certificate of vaccination or immunization. The position has the support of virologist, former head of the COVID-19 council Irja Lutsar.

Lutsar said that Covid certificates are necessary primarily for traveling and that negative test results could be accepted as proof of immunization in Estonia.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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