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Additional measures to the emergency situation

24. March 2020 - 0:00

Tallinn, Stenbock House, March 24, 2020 - Additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have been agreed by the Government Emergency Committee. The new measures concern people-to-people distance in public space and the closure of shopping malls and additional entertainment facilities starting tomorrow.

"I ask for an even greater effort by all of us to prevent the spread of coronavirus," said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. “We need to behave as 'our' society, not as 'my' society. It is in the interest of all Estonian people. The faster the coronavirus stops spreading, the faster we will return to our normal pace of life.”

First, it was agreed by the emergency committee that at least 2 meters distance between people should be kept in public places, such as outdoor playgrounds, sports grounds, beaches, promenades, health and hiking trails and indoors, except in homes and when this cannot be ensured. Up to two people are allowed to be together in public space. This restriction does not apply to families living and moving around together, and to people performing public duties. The space requirement between people will come into effect tomorrow, March 25.

Second, the emergency committee agreed to close shopping centres, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, telecommunication outlets, bank offices, parcel stations, and stores selling or renting assistant and medical devices on the basis of an assistant card or medical device card as of March 27.

Shopping centre eateries are only allowed to sell food as take away.

In shops that remain open people must adhere to the principle that they may move alone or in pairs and keep at least 2 meters distance from other people.

Disinfectants must be provided at the entrances and exits of all shops which remain open. Stores that are open must enforce this rule.

Thirdly, it was decided that restaurants and bars should be closed at 10 pm in the evening, and that only take-away and home delivery will be allowed after that time.

Fourth, entertainment venues, for example bowling and billiard halls, hookah cafés, adult clubs, will be closed.

Restrictions will be reviewed after two weeks.

Additional measures will also be published as orders by the person in charge of the emergency situation in the near future, and will be reported separately.