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Kallas: Society will no longer accept severe coronavirus restrictions

The Estonian economy contracted by 2.9 percent in 2020, as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
The Estonian economy contracted by 2.9 percent in 2020, as a result of coronavirus restrictions. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

An agreement to introduce few restrictions during the next coronavirus wave is based on the hope it is less severe than previous outbreaks, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Friday. There are doubts society would accept such rules again.

The new Reform/Isamaa/SDE coalition agreement states the parties have a shared goal of introducing few restrictions and keeping public services running during the next coronavirus wave.

Kallas told ERR the government wants to keep society as open as possible. She believes there may also be some resistance to the introduction of strong restrictions.

"These coronavirus restrictions have left a very serious mark on people's mental health and have caused a lot of frustration. I am afraid that the introduction of extensive restrictions will not be accepted by society in such a way that these rules are really followed," said Kallas.

However, she also said the only way to really limit the spread of the virus is for people to moderate their own behavior.

The coalition has not yet reached an agreement on the future reintroduction of vaccination passports.

"We actually do not know how difficult the situation will be. At the moment, there is hope that this new wave will not hit as hard as the last ones. The hope is that there is no need to introduce additional restrictions," said Kallas.

There is some certainty that it will not be as severe due to vaccinations, medicines and natural immunity, she said.

"Unfortunately, it really is the case that the corona numbers are rising again and the number of those in hospital are also on the rise. So, it is in the common interest of all of us to keep society as open as possible and everything functioning," Kallas said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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