Our partner Carri Ginter discussed the legislative aspects of vaccination and COVID-19 restrictions on the current affairs show “Esimene stuudio”.

According to Ginter, restrictions and vaccination requirements have to be proportionate – the employer has to sufficiently justify demanding vaccination in the workplace and only do it when there are no alternatives. The coronavirus restrictions established on companies should be proportionate as well.

Vaccines in the workplace

“Every kind of vaccine requirement intrudes upon people’s basic rights,” Ginter said. “As lawyers, we look at something called proportionality, which means that if there is a legitimate goal of what needs to be achieved with the vaccination and there are no milder measures.” He explained that demanding someone who works with ill children to be vaccinated is a different situation from requiring a cashier to be vaccinated. 

Legitimate restrictions

Regarding restrictions, Ginter said that the law requires that if the government makes a choice, it must be justified. “If we’re going to shut them down, there has to be some explanation, and it can’t be just an assumption until the end,” he said about closing restaurants and cafes. 

Ginter said that the choices in Estonia have been extreme, as to whether everything is open or closed. “Law says you can go to extremes if there are no reasonable choices in between,” he said.

Read the thorough summary of the discussion on ERR.