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General education, vocational education, higher education

With what symptoms should I not go to school?

If symptoms of an acute upper respiratory virus (cough, runny nose, throat ache, general poorly feeling, unusual tiredness) occur, a person must stay at home immediately and contact a family health center or the family doctor advice line 1220 at the first chance to get further instructions.

It is allowed to go to school with a slight cold or cough if the student has recovered from some seasonal infection, his general condition is good but a slight leftover cold or coughing persist. If it is not clear whether the condition is infectious or non-infectious, a family health center needs to be consulted.

Do I have to remain home if I have a chronic cough or runny nose?

Chronic diseases like asthma or allergies can cause a runny nose or a cough but generally don't necessitate staying home. As a rule, these kinds of chronic diseases are previously known and, if necessary, a parent can issue a statement confirming that the child's symptoms are not infectious. A medical certificate is not issued for a presentation of a chronic disease.

The sense of responsibility of all persons is of utmost importance and this includes guaranteeing that a child or an adult with a chronic disease is not discriminated because of their disease.

How should dispersion be organised in educational institutions?

Educational institutions are very strongly recommended to organise their learning and other activities in ways that reduce contacts between people. It is important to keep in mind that reducing contacts should also be a priority for educational workers and other staff.

For instance, in order to disperse students, a system where classrooms are designated to classes rather than teachers can be used, holding more classes outdoors or doing partial distance learning (e.g. by days, in some subjects) etc.

We also recommend that lunch recesses, PE classes and similar are organised in a way that would reduce contacts between groups.

The school day could start at different times in order to reduce physical contacts between students, and different classes could have recesses at different times with some made longer so that younger students can go outside. Institutions that work in multiple buildings should consider how to reduce movement of students between buildings.

If the risk of the virus increases and it becomes necessary to disperse students even more, we recommend that older grades move over to the full distance learning. Younger grades that continue contact learning can then be dispersed more within the building. It is recommended that contact learning is continued for as long as possible in younger stages of study, students who need support and students in final grades.

Do masks have to be worn in schools and other educational institutions?

Starting from June 2 it is no longer compulsory to wear a mask in public indoor spaces and educational and youth institutions. It is still recommended in crowded indoor spaces.

The acquisition of the necessary personal protective equipmet is organised by the school in cooperation with the school administrator. The provision of personal protective equipment to youth centres is ensured by the local government, depending on the needs of the youth centres, young people, and the employees at the centre.

Can a child go to school if their parent returns from a travel?

The obligation to self-isolate does not apply to a person whose immediate family members include those who have returned from a travel within the last 10 days, or who have come into contact with a person who has been in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19.

If, for instance, a family member arrives from a country with a high infection rate or has been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19, it does not mean that all members of their family should stay at home.

Where can I find additional information on the subject of education?

If you have any questions in the field of education, please contact:

  • the Ministry of Education and Research, information tel No. 5690 0353 and 5690 0340.

  • e-mail: info[at]hm[dot]ee

For an overview of the rules and guidelines sent to institutions under the Ministry of Education and Research, please see the website https://www.hm.ee/koroona.

Educational advisers at Rajaleidja programme of the Education and Youth Board provide advice to schools, support specialists, and parents on how to support children in the current rapidly changing situation, whether it is a matter of teaching or mental health:

Is a student allowed to do distance learning if the parent wishes for it?

Doing distance learning due to the parent's wish can happen only upon agreement with the school, provided that the school can manage it.

What should I do if somebody in a class or a study group has been diagnosed with the coronavirus?

If an unvaccinated young person who is 12-18 years old or one who turns 19 during the 2021/2022 school year comes in contact with a person who has COVID-19 at child care, kindergarten or school and is not symptomatic himself, he may continue to attend school or kindergarten but also hobby groups that are only attended by the children or youths of the same school or kindergarten. The same also applies if the close contact happened in hobby groups where only children from the same school or kindergarten participate -- in that case it is also allowed to continue going to school or kindergarten if there are no symptoms.

  • For children under the age of 12 it is enough to monitor their health condition: if there are no symptoms, the child may continue participating in academic activities and hobby activities that take place among the same circle of people.

  • An unvaccinated 12-18 year old or young person turning 19 in the course of the 2021/2022 academic year has to additionally: 1) do a SARS-CoV-2 antigen-RTD test (the so-called rapid test) and 2) do a repeat coronavirus PCR test no later than 72 hours after the close contact was established, the results of both of which have to be negative.

A simplified quarantine always lasts for ten days and during this period the child or young person needs to refrain from informal education and hobby activities that take place outside of the school, kindergarten or child care, youth work and other activities (e.g. entertainment, going to the store etc.).

What to do if a person falls ill while at an educational institution? Simplified quarantine.

An employee who has fallen ill must inform the leadership of the institution. A student who has fallen ill must turn to a teacher or a school nurse who will inform the leadership of the institution of the child's condition. The student's parents are informed of the student having fallen ill. Depending on the age of the child, the he is either sent home or is isolated from others in a room suitable for this under the supervision of a teacher/school nurse until a parent arrives.

The person who has fallen ill and the adult who is dealing with him are given a surgical mask and it is important to make sure that the mask is placed correctly.

If the ill person's health condition becomes dangerous (quickly rising fever, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, acute pain of a different kind etc.) and he is feeling extremely poorly, 112 must be called.

In order to better contain the spread of COVID-19, it is important that the person who has fallen ill (in the case of a student his parent or other legal representative) informs the educational institution if a COVID-19 infection is confirmed. The institution will inform members of that class or group (and parents). The notification has to be done with a sense of delicacy, without revealing the name or other identifying data of the person who has been infected. The regional department of the Health Board will contact the educational institution and inform of the confirmed diagnosis and will establish the close contacts in cooperation with the institution and the school nurse.

Simplified quarantine:

If an unvaccinated young person under the age of 18 or turning 19 during the 2021/2022 academic year comes in contact with a person who has COVID-19 in child care, kindergarten or school and is not symptomatic himself, he is allowed to keep participating in school or kindergarten but also in hobby groups that are only attended by children or youths from the same school or kindergarten. The same applies if the close contact happened in hobby groups where only children from the same school or kindergarten participate -- in that case it is also allowed to continue going to school or kindergarten if there are no symptoms.

  • For children under the age of 12 it is enough to monitor their health condition: if there are no symptoms, the child may continue participating in academic activities and hobby activities that take place among the same circle of people.
  • An unvaccinated 12-18 year old or young person turning 19 in the course of the 2021/2022 academic year has to additionally: 1) do a SARS-CoV-2 antigen-RTD test (the so-called rapid test) and 2) do a repeat coronavirus PCR test no later than 72 hours after the close contact was established, the results of both of which have to be negative.

A simplified quarantine always lasts for ten days and during this period the child or young person needs to refrain from informal education and hobby activities that take place outside of the school, kindergarten or child care, youth work and other activities (e.g. entertainment, going to the store etc.).

Can a child go to school if their parent returns from a travel?

The obligation to self-isolate does not apply to a person whose immediate family members include those who have returned from a travel within the last 10 days, or who have come into contact with a person who has been in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19.

If, for instance, a family member arrives from a country with a high infection rate or has been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19, it does not mean that all members of their family should stay at home.

How should dispersion be organised in educational institutions?

Educational institutions are very strongly recommended to organise their learning and other activities in ways that reduce contacts between people. It is important to keep in mind that reducing contacts should also be a priority for educational workers and other staff.

For instance, in order to disperse students, a system where classrooms are designated to classes rather than teachers can be used, holding more classes outdoors or doing partial distance learning (e.g. by days, in some subjects) etc.

We also recommend that lunch recesses, PE classes and similar are organised in a way that would reduce contacts between groups.

The school day could start at different times in order to reduce physical contacts between students, and different classes could have recesses at different times with some made longer so that younger students can go outside. Institutions that work in multiple buildings should consider how to reduce movement of students between buildings.

If the risk of the virus increases and it becomes necessary to disperse students even more, we recommend that older grades move over to the full distance learning. Younger grades that continue contact learning can then be dispersed more within the building. It is recommended that contact learning is continued for as long as possible in younger stages of study, students who need support and students in final grades.

What to do if a person falls ill while at an educational institution? Simplified quarantine.

An employee who has fallen ill must inform the leadership of the institution. A student who has fallen ill must turn to a teacher or a school nurse who will inform the leadership of the institution of the child's condition. The student's parents are informed of the student having fallen ill. Depending on the age of the child, the he is either sent home or is isolated from others in a room suitable for this under the supervision of a teacher/school nurse until a parent arrives.

The person who has fallen ill and the adult who is dealing with him are given a surgical mask and it is important to make sure that the mask is placed correctly.

If the ill person's health condition becomes dangerous (quickly rising fever, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, acute pain of a different kind etc.) and he is feeling extremely poorly, 112 must be called.

In order to better contain the spread of COVID-19, it is important that the person who has fallen ill (in the case of a student his parent or other legal representative) informs the educational institution if a COVID-19 infection is confirmed. The institution will inform members of that class or group (and parents). The notification has to be done with a sense of delicacy, without revealing the name or other identifying data of the person who has been infected. The regional department of the Health Board will contact the educational institution and inform of the confirmed diagnosis and will establish the close contacts in cooperation with the institution and the school nurse.

Simplified quarantine:

If an unvaccinated young person under the age of 18 or turning 19 during the 2021/2022 academic year comes in contact with a person who has COVID-19 in child care, kindergarten or school and is not symptomatic himself, he is allowed to keep participating in school or kindergarten but also in hobby groups that are only attended by children or youths from the same school or kindergarten. The same applies if the close contact happened in hobby groups where only children from the same school or kindergarten participate -- in that case it is also allowed to continue going to school or kindergarten if there are no symptoms.

  • For children under the age of 12 it is enough to monitor their health condition: if there are no symptoms, the child may continue participating in academic activities and hobby activities that take place among the same circle of people.
  • An unvaccinated 12-18 year old or young person turning 19 in the course of the 2021/2022 academic year has to additionally: 1) do a SARS-CoV-2 antigen-RTD test (the so-called rapid test) and 2) do a repeat coronavirus PCR test no later than 72 hours after the close contact was established, the results of both of which have to be negative.

A simplified quarantine always lasts for ten days and during this period the child or young person needs to refrain from informal education and hobby activities that take place outside of the school, kindergarten or child care, youth work and other activities (e.g. entertainment, going to the store etc.).

Is it allowed to organise events at school? What are the rules?

To be able to start the school year as safely as possible, it is important to keep in mind the measures necessary for stopping the spread of the virus when organising these ceremonies and other events.

A school can, for instance, limit the number of participants. If possible, we recommend organising events outdoors.

All symptomatic people must stay at home.

We would like to remind you that a school cannot demand that a parent present a COVID certificate or a negative test result in order to participate at events. A school can suggest that it is preferable that participants who come to the event are vaccinated or tested in order to reduce the probability of spreading the virus.

At ceremonies taking place indoors, we recommend observing that the occupancy of the room does not exceed 50% in order to ensure dispersion. If it is not possible for the participants to keep a distance, we recommend wearing a mask.

It is important to ensure that the rooms are well ventilated or aired out if necessary. In order to reduce the number of participants, a video broadcast of the event might be an option.

 

 

Last updated: 20 September 2021