Government to discuss relaxing coronavirus restrictions this week
The coalition will discuss relaxing Estonia's coronavirus restrictions in the coming week but not all the rules will be lifted at once.
Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) and Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) said the government wants to lift the restrictions as soon as possible.
While the number of new cases is at a record high, the number of patients receiving treatment for coronavirus in hospital is stable and is not near the limit. However, politicians remain cautious.
"We are monitoring the burden on hospitals and it has not started to ease. We need to listen to the scientific advisory council, which has said that it does not recommend removing all the restrictions at the moment," Pentus-Rosimannus said.
Kiik believes it is already safe to get rid of the restrictions which require a coronavirus certificate for outdoor activities. "I have made this proposal repeatedly in the government. Similarly, in the case of minors, for example, requiring a covid certificate is not justified," he said.
Martin Kadai, adviser to the chancellor of justice and an expert on infectious diseases, said the government must make sure society is not trapped in unnecessary restrictions.
"Today we have to start thinking about what the way out of this crisis will look like. At what point in time to remove restrictions," Kadai said.
All three agreed changes are needed for Estonia's vaccination policy, which has essentially stalled.
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Editor: Helen Wright