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Culture, sports

Closure of cultural establishments

What are the first rules for exiting the crisis in culture and sports institutions?

As of May 2, it was allowed to:

  1. visit the exhibition buildings of open-air museums and exhibits located outside museum buildings and
  2. organise outdoor sports and training activities

When visiting open-air museums and outdoor exhibits of museums

  • everyone must comply with the 2+2 rule (except families).
  • the museum must ensure the availability of disinfectants.
  • no more than 10 people are allowed to participate in a group visit.
  • the prohibition to hold public events is still in force.

Additionally, until May 10, it is not allowed to enter the exhibition buildings.

See COVID-19 Code of Conduct for open air museums and exhibits located outside museum buildings here.

As of May 11, provided that special conditions are met, it is allowed to visit

  1. the indoor premises of museums and exhibitions
  2. the exhibition buildings of open-air museums and exhibits located outside museum buildings.

Special conditions:

  • the 2+2 rule must be adhered to (except for families);
  • hand disinfectants must be provided in the museums;
  • surfaces frequently touched by visitors must be cleaned thoroughly with cleaning agents;
  • for group visits, no more than 10 people are allowed in a group;
  • as the virus can also spread from contaminated surfaces, it is not allowed to hand out any materials, such as advertisements, to visitors. It is also not permitted to organise any creative workshops with shared tools;
  • people belonging to a risk group are recommended to cover their nose and mouth.

See COVID-19 Code of Conduct for open air museums and exhibits located outside museum buildings here.

As of May 15, outdoor public events may be held where the visitors are in the car during the whole event. For example, it is permitted to organize drive-in cinemas or drive-in concerts.

Special conditions:

  • Up to 2 people may be in one car (the restriction does not apply to family members).
  • There must be a sufficient distance between cars.
  • People are not allowed to step out of their cars (except for health reasons or toilet visits).
  • All employees and performers must adhere to the 2+2 rule.
  • Tickets can only be sold online.
  • Ticket control will take place through the car window (the visitor shows an electronic ticket on the screen of a smartphone).
  • If catering is provided, the menu selection and payment must take place through a smartphone app and the order must be brought to the car.
  • Other recommendations and requirements (wearing masks, availability of disinfectants) also apply.

As of June 1, it is allowed to organise

  • open-air events for up to 100 participants,
  • indoor events for up to 50 participants.

NB! At a public event organised indoors, the occupancy of the venue can be up to 50% of its capacity.

This means that cinemas and theatres can start operating as of June 1 within the limitations provided.

By the decision of the Government Crisis Committee, cinemas and other cultural institutions are closed during the emergency situation. By the decision of the Government, public events are not taking place in Estonia in May.

As of May 5, in coordination with the Ministry of Culture, the top-level athletes who are members of national teams can also train indoors, the goal being to maintain their level of performance and continuity of training. This kind of exception does not apply to recreational athletes, it only covers top-level athletes.

As of May 7, the teams of competitive sports games championship leagues can train in the open air based on the international sports competition regulations for that discipline.

As of May 18, sports clubs can reopen, training sessions can be carried out indoors and in swimming pools. Sports competitions can be organised in the open air, provided that this is done without spectators and with no more than 100 persons participating.

Starting from June 1, it is again possible to go to water parks, spas, saunas etc for leisure purposes. For this, special conditions must be met. The provider of the service must ensure the adherence to:

  • the requirement of dispersing the clients through booking systems and other solutions;
  • the requirement of occupancy of maximum 50%.

As of June 1, public events, including cinemas, theatre performances, concerts and conferences are allowed. The organizer of the event must guarantee the adherence to:

  • the 2+2 rule;
  • the requirement that at indoor events, the occupancy can be 50% at the most, but no more than 50 people;
  • the requirement that no more than a 100 people can participate at an outdoor event.

How long will the restrictions last?

On March 12, the Government announced the establishment of the emergency situation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Estonia. The emergency situation has been in force until the end of the day of May 17. The end of the emergency situation does not mean all restrictions will be lifted as of that date. After the end of the emergency situation, the health care emergency is still in force. Restrictions due to the prevention of the spread of coronavirus will be lifted gradually.

When can public events start taking place again? When will I be able to go to the cinema, to the theatre, to a concert?

There will be no public events held in May. Public events (cinemas, performances, concerts, conferences, fairs, festivals etc.) are allowed as of June 1.

The organiser of the event must ensure that the restrictions are observed:

  • 2+2 rule;
  • only 50% of the capacity of the premises may be used;
  • outdoors up to 100 people may participate in the event.

Museums and exhibitions For museums and exhibitions, the requirements of groups of no more than 10 persons will be lifted. The 2+2 requirement must be guaranteed.

Is there a possibility that public events will start taking place again in the summer?

Yes, based on the decision of the Government of the Republic public events can be held in Estonia under special conditions.

No public events can be organised in May.

As an exception, as of May 15, outdoor events can be held where the visitors are in the car during the whole event.

For example, it is permitted to organise drive-in cinemas or drive-in concerts.

  • Up to 2 people may be in one car (the restriction does not apply to the members of the same family).
  • There must be sufficient distance between cars,
  • People are not allowed to step out of their cars (except for health reasons or toilet visits),
  • All employees and performers must observe the 2+2 rule at the event.
  • Ticket sales must take place online,
  • Ticket control will take place through the window: the visitor shows an electronic ticket on the smartphone screen.
  • If catering is provided, the menu selection and payment must take place through the smartphone application and the order must be brought to the car.
  • Other recommendations and requirements (wearing masks, availability of disinfectants) also apply.

Drive-in cinema sessions and concerts can be held in suitable indoor conditions if the same conditions have been met as for outdoor drive-in cinema.

As of June 1, public events may be held of the organiser ensures:

  • 2+2 rule,
  • no more than 100 participants outdoors
  • no more than 50 participants indoors.

NB! When holding an indoor event, the restrictions are in place which allow only 50% of the capacity of the space to be occupied.

Lifting of restrictions will allow cinemas and theatres to resume work as of June.

The Government's positions are in line with the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Board.


You can still enjoy culture when at home

 

It is possible to participate in many cultural events from a distance. See from the web page of the ministry of culture (LINK) what kind of opportunities the cultural institutions are offering.


Keep a distance when doing sports outdoors in the nature

 

Even though it is tougher for the virus to spread in fresh air, it is still not impossible. Avoid heavily populated places even when moving outside. A 2 metre distance must be kept with other people.


A library home service for the risk group

 

As it is recommended that the elderly population does not go to the library, you should find out whether the local library offers home service.

 

Cancelled events

 

Will events, for example, plays and concerts definitely be cancelled, or is it possible that they will be postponed?

This is something each organiser decides for themselves, according to their judgement and means. These organisations will be the ones to inform you of any changes to their schedules or programmes. This has also been done already and the public has been notified of changes. Keep an eye on the notifications that the organisers publish.

What is going to happen to tickets purchased from advance ticket sales?

According to the Ministry of Culture, the rights of the ticket holders, and the obligations of the organisers of the cancelled cultural event due to COVID-19 virus, must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It is necessary to evaluate the content of the agreement concluded between the parties and the possibility of amending the agreement in order to find a mutually appropriate solution. Agencies and organisations organising events may offer, for example, gift cards or an event to take place at an alternative time, but if the ticket holder does not agree with the offer, they reserve the right to withdraw from the agreement and to get a refund for the tickets.

Due to the high number of cancelled events, please be patient during this process.

Can private cultural operators count on state support if the event is cancelled or tickets are returned?

If the cancelled or postponed event has received support from the state budget, please immediately inform the Ministry of Culture. Issues related to a cancelled or postponed event and state support will be resolved on a case-by-case basis. Grants will not be reclaimed all over the board.

 

How is the state supporting the organizers of cultural and sports events, institutions and freelancers who incur huge losses because of the emergency situation?

There is a crisis package to mitigate the crisis that has hit the culture and sports sector because of the emergency situation.

The goal is to give emergency assistance related to the corona crisis as follows:

  • compensation of costs already incurred by organizations due to the suspension of their activities, or unavoidable future costs -- close to 20 million Euros;
  • freelance creative persons, coaches and instructors of folk culture collectives -- close to 5 million Euros.

More information here: https://www.kul.ee/et/abipakett.

Entrepreneurs and creators will be supported with other means as well.

  • Creative enterprises are recommended to us the application round of Enterprise Estonia.
  • Freelance creative persons might find of help the support for a creative activity to creative persons engaged in a liberal profession provided by the Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act. The budget for the support for creative activity will increase considerably and it will be possible to make support payments to about 1200 freelance creative person who can be active in whichever form and do not need to be members of any artistic associations. You can find more information here.
  • The Cultural Endowment of Estonia has introduced a measure for the emergency situation which would allow for the foundations and county expert groups to allocate special grants for the purposes of maintaining creative and sporting activities. For additional information see: kulka.ee. https://kulka.ee/uudised/eesti-kultuurkapitali-noukogu-poordumine-ja-erimeetmed-kriisi-leevendamiseks
  • The Government has adopted a support package which suspends the advance payment of social taxes for natural person entrepreneurs, so self-employed persons do not have to pay the social tax advance for the first quarter. https://www.emta.ee/et/uudised/riik-toetab-fie-sid-sotsiaalmaksu-tasumisega
  • The Tax and Customs Board suspended calculating interest on tax arrears from March 1, until the end of the emergency situation. When the emergency situation is over, the interest on tax debt will be reduced by half (from 0.06 % to 0.03).
  • Compensation for reduced remuneration will be provided by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund for the total amount of EUR 250 million
  • The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has established an e-mail address for businesses to get assistance with their concerns and questions: covid19[at]mkm[dot]ee.

More information on the website of the Ministry of Culture.

 

Sports

The restrictions on sporting opportunities have been eased as of May 2. What exactly is meant by sports and exercise events and what are the new rules?

Sports and exercise events are seen as training activities that take place in open air.

One group can generally include up to 10 people, including the coach, assistant personnel etc, and the 2+2 rule must be observed (i.e. at least a 2-metre distance must be maintained with others in the group). In the case of activities that are of higher intensity or take place at higher speeds, the recommended distance between people is 20 meters (e.g. interval training in running, group training in cycling etc).

NB! Exceptions have also been gradually introduced!

As of May 5, in coordination with the Ministry of Culture, the top-level athletes who are members of the national teams can also train indoors, the goal being to maintain their level of performance and continuity of training. This kind of exception does not apply to recreational athletes, it only covers top athletes. Instructions with specific guidelines are available on the web page of the Ministry of Culture. https://www.kul.ee/sites/kulminn/files/news-related-files/tippsportlaste_treeningute_korraldamine_siseruumides.pdf.

With the decision of the government from May 7, taking into consideration the specifics of different team sports and the competition rules agreed upon at international level, an exception was introduced for conducting outdoor training sessions of the teams of team sports. Team sports are football, basketball, handball, volleyball, indoor hockey, ice hockey, rugby, cricket. Of these, football, rugby, and cricket are played in teams of more than 10 people. In the training sessions of teams like these, the 2+2 rule is not applied.

Opening sports clubs, including gyms and swimming pools, for indoor training is allowed as of May 18. For this, special conditions must be met. The organiser must guarantee the adherence to

  • the 2+2 rule;
  • the requirement that indoors, the maximum capacity of 50% can be used at the most, but no more than 10 people in one group;

As of May 18 it is allowed to organize sports competitions in open air if they have no spectators and have no more than 100 participants.

As of May 18, the teams of all fields of sports are also allowed to train outdoors, guided by the international competition rules of the relevant field of sports.

As of June 1, it is allowed to open sports clubs, including gyms and swimming pools for indoor training, provided that certain special conditions are met. The organiser must guarantee the adherence to

  • the 2+2 rule;
  • the requirement that indoors the maximum capacity of 50% of the premises is used at most;
  • the requirement that outdoors there can be no more than 100 participants.

As of July 1, it is allowed to hold both outdoor and indoor sports competitions with spectators under certain conditions. The organiser must guarantee the adherence to

  • the 2+2 rule;
  • the requirement that indoors the maximum capacity of 50% of the premises is used at most, but no more than 500 people.
  • the requirement that outdoors there can be no more than 1000 people, (both the participants and spectators together).

The government decided to allow the opening of spas, water parks and saunas for leisure purposes. Do any special conditions apply?

Indeed, as of June 1, it is again possible to visit water parks, spas, saunas etc for leisure purposes. For this aim, special conditions must be met. The provider of the service must ensure the adherence to:

  • making sure the information is provided through the booking systems and other methods regarding the requirement to maintain the distance.
  • the requirement of no more than 50% occupancy rate.

When will sports clubs, gyms, swimming pools be able to start operating?

Opening sports clubs, including gyms and swimming pools, for indoor training is allowed from May 18. For this, special conditions must be met. The organizer must guarantee the adherence to

  • the 2+2 rule;
  • the requirement that indoors, the occupancy can be 50% at the most, but no more than 10 people in one group;

Starting from May 18 it is allowed to organize sports competitions in open air if they have no spectators and have no more than 100 participants.

The teams of all sports disciplines are also allowed to train outdoors from May 18, guided by the international competition rules of the relevant discipline.

Starting from June 1, it is allowed to open sports clubs, including gyms, and swimming pools for indoor training at certain special conditions: the organizer must guarantee the adherence to

  • the 2+2 rule;
  • the requirement that indoors the occupancy can be 50% at the most;
  • the requirement that outdoors there can be no more than 100 participants.

Will the coaching allowance continue to be paid in the Emergency Situation?

Applying for and granting the coaching allowance and paying your salary will continue as usual. On-site inspections by the Sports Training and Information Foundation will not be organized until the situation normalises.

 

Cinemas

Is it allowed to organise a drive-in movie event?

As of May 15, it is allowed to organise public events that take place in open air and where the visitors stay in the car for the whole duration of the event. For instance, it is possible to organise drive-in cinema showings and drive-in concerts in this way.

Special conditions have to be met to organise the event. Supervision of the event is carried out by the Police and Border Guard Board.

  • There can be up to two visitors per car, except for the members of the same family for whom this restriction does not apply.

  • The visitors must remain in their cars during the entire duration of the event, and may leave the car only for unavoidable reasons, such as for health reasons, or to visit the toilets.

  • The organizer of the event must also ensure that the visitors adhere to the prohibition to leave their cars and the employees and performers of the event adhere to the 2+2 rule.

  • The service provider must organise the parking of the cars in a way that would leave adequate distance between the vehicles.

  • Ticket sale to visitors takes place online.

  • Tickets are checked through the window glass, the visitor will present an electronic ticket on the screen of a smartphone.

  • The catering during the event is organized so that the visitors do not exit the cars, selection from the menu and the payment will be done through a smartphone application, the order will be brought to the car.

  • It is recommended that the employees of the service provider wear a protective mask (a regular face cover is enough, provided that the nose and the mouth are covered).

  • Access to mandatory disinfectants must be guaranteed during the event.

Supervision over adherence to the requirements set with the order is carried out by the Police and Border Guard Board.

According to the decision of the Government no public events will be held in Estonia in May and June. As of July, the limit of a public open-air event is 1000 persons, and indoor public event limit is 500 persons. Easing of restrictions allows indoor cinemas and theatres to resume work within these limitations.

   

 

 

Last updated: 19 May 2020