Justice chancellor advisor: Mask rule could be recommendation

Martin Kadai
Martin Kadai Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The evidence suggesting face masks work is still weak and Estonia's rule could be relaxed to a recommendation, adviser to the Chancellor of Justice Martin Kadai said on Thursday.

This week the government announced plans to abolish the domestic use of coronavirus certificates but masks will remain in place.

Kadai told ERR: "When we talk about the obligation to wear a mask, the evidence is rather weak. Its effect is to slow down the spread of the virus, but it is rather modest or moderate."

Kadai, who is a former head of the Health Board, said the current recommendations are mostly valid but monitoring and reinforcing people's behavior is a double-edged sword.

"On the one hand, the good short-term effect is that people fearfully follow health recommendations. But in a society, we want people to take responsibility for their own healthy behavior, understand why something needs to be done, and see it as their own responsibility, not others, to take care of themselves."

Speaking about the 11 p.m. closing time restriction, Kadai said entrepreneurs have already approached the chancellor of justice about the rule.

He said the office sees "significant legal shortcomings" in the restriction and that less burdensome rules have not been considered. Kadai does not believe early closing times make any difference.

"The spread of the virus does not look at what time it is," he said, adding the spread of the virus comes from human contact and is based on activity, not time.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said restrictions are likely to be lifted next week when the government's requirement for hospitalized patients is met.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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