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Riigikogu

During the second reading, the Riigikogu approved four motions to amend the Bill that will specify the competences of the Government and the Health Board and will amend the Act by adding a clear legal basis under which people can be required to follow the precautionary measures for infection control in the event of the spread of an infectious disease.

The amendments proposed under the Bill on Amendments to the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act (347 SE), initiated by the Government, will help support the Health Board in resolving health care emergencies, including in the exercise of supervision.

Already now, the Act provides for the possibility to request disinfection, disinsection, pest control or cleaning to be organised and medical examination to be arranged for, and diagnosis of infectious disease or arrangement therefor to prevent the epidemic spread of infectious diseases. The Health Board and the Government may also oblige hospitals and institutions providing social services to impose visiting restrictions.

According to the Bill, in the event of an especially dangerous infectious disease and an unavoidable necessity, the Health Board and the Government will also be able to close institutions or to restrict their activities temporarily. Besides setting the conditions for prohibiting meetings and events, the Bill will also allow requirements to be established for holding them. Already now, it is also possible to impose other restrictions on the freedom of movement under law.

The Bill will include in the Act the possibility to involve the police and other law enforcement agencies in the performance of the functions of the Health Board in emergencies and emergency situations related to infectious disease epidemics. Up until now, there has been no regulation of involvement and therefore the Health Board has been able to cooperate with law enforcement agencies only through applications for professional assistance or exchange of officials. The establishment of the regulation will simplify and speed up the involvement. According to the Bill, the Government will decide on the involvement of a law enforcement agency at the proposal of the Health Board. The more specific conditions and procedure for the involvement will be established by a Regulation of the Government.

Under the current Act, breach of quarantine rules is punishable under misdemeanour procedure. However, according to the Bill, an opportunity will also be created to hold people liable when they breach the requirements established by the Government or the Health Board, for example the obligation to wear a face mask or the restrictions on movement or the organisation of events. According to the Bill, violation of the requirements for the prevention of the epidemic spread of an infectious disease will be punishable by a fine of up to 100 fine units, that is, 400 euro. Legal persons can be punished by a fine of up to 13,000 euro. During the second reading, it was decided to omit from the Bill the increase in fine rates planned by the initiator and in connection with that the abovementioned fine rates were also reduced – the abovementioned fine rates had been 800 and 32,000 euro, respectively, in the initial Bill.

An amendment made during the second reading omitted from the Bill the sections relating to the compensation of days of sick leave as the sections duplicate the wording of the Act that has already been adopted.

During the debate, Martin Helme (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Kalle Grünthal (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Mihhail Lotman (Isamaa), Tarmo Kruusimäe (Isamaa), Mart Helme (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Peeter Ernits (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) and Siret Kotka (Centre Party) took the floor.

Three draft Resolutions passed the first reading

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee”” (334 OE), submitted by the Estonian Reform Party Faction and the Estonian Centre Party, is intended to change the principle for the formation of the committee and, in the future, to form the membership of the committee under the principle of equal representation of the coalition and the opposition.

Lauri Läänemets (Social Democratic Party) took the floor during the debate.

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the State Budget Control Select Committee”” (336 OE), submitted by the Estonian Reform Party Faction and the Estonian Centre Party, is intended to change the principle for the formation of the committee and, in the future, to form the membership of the committee under the principle of equal representation of the coalition and the opposition.

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Anti-Corruption Select Committee”” (337 OE), submitted by the Estonian Reform Party Faction and the Estonian Centre Party, is intended to change the principle for the formation of the committee and, in the future, to form the membership of the committee under the principle of equal representation of the coalition and the opposition.

The Minister of Culture Anneli Ott replied to the interpellation concerning the exhibition “Rendering Race” opened in the Estonian Art Museum KUMU (No 60), and the Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna replied to the interpellation concerning the inclusive teaching model (No 63) and the interpellation concerning the breaches of order and law in the Ministry of Education and Research (No 64), submitted by members of the Riigikogu.

The sitting ended at 8.04 p.m.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

The video recording of the sitting will be available on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Veiko Pesur
Phone: +372 631 6353, +372 5559 0595
E-mail: veiko.pesur@riigikogu.ee
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee

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