Stenbock House, 10 November 2020 – At today’s cabinet meeting, the government approved measures to be taken at work, at home, on public transport, and in other public places to curb the spread of the coronavirus and to protect the lives and health of Estonians.
According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, the situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus in Estonia is critical and the number of patients in hospital is growing rapidly. ‘In cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Health Board, and the Science Council, we offer recommendations and suggestions on how to reduce the spread of the infection at work, at home, on public transport, and in other public places. In addition, in the current situation, we consider it necessary to tighten restrictions in commercial establishments and catering and entertainment establishments so that we could control the spread of the virus,’ he said.
Today, the cabinet approved in principle the measures, the implementation of which requires a change in the government’s orders. The government will issue the relevant orders this Thursday.
• We recommend employees to work remotely if possible.
• Employers are advised to prepare a remote working plan and arrange remote working in case someone becomes infected with the coronavirus at work.
• We recommend cancelling all joint events, including Christmas parties, which are attended by people who do not come into contact on a daily basis. Celebrating Christmas with family is, of course, allowed.
Measures at home
• Before meeting a person at risk, make sure you are safe from infection and ensure safety when visiting: wear a mask, keep your distance, and clean your hands and surfaces.
• Social welfare institutions must ensure safe opportunities for contact and non-contact communication for people belonging to the risk group.
• The safety rules applicable to living with a person infected with the coronavirus must be observed, including wearing a mask, keeping distance and avoiding contact with them, if possible, and cleaning hands and surfaces regularly.
Measures in public places and public transport
• On public transport, in the service halls and public areas of commercial enterprises, and at conferences, concerts, theatres, and cinemas, a mask must be worn or the nose and mouth must otherwise be covered. We ask carriers, enterprisers, and event organisers to monitor compliance with this requirement and to inform people thereof. People for whom it is medically indicated (for example, asthmatics or the deaf) and children under the age of 12 do not have to wear a mask. Other justified situations are also possible (for example, if there are no other passengers in the vehicle).
• Carriers are asked to put up a notice on wearing a mask on public transport, such as ‘Dear passenger, put on your mask!’ Other safety information must be displayed in a visible place on public transport.
• The government establishes by its order a 2 + 2 rule in service halls and public areas of commercial enterprises, in accordance with which no more than two people may move together and a distance of at least two metres must be kept with others, except for families and if this cannot be reasonably guaranteed. The rule will take effect on 16 November.
• The government establishes a two-metre distance rule between groups of people in catering and entertainment establishments, with a maximum of 10 people per group. The restriction does not apply to members of the same family, nor does it apply to, for example, hobby education and children’s playrooms. The rule will take effect on 16 November.
• The government limits the opening hours of catering and entertainment establishments from midnight to 6 a.m. to prevent crowds. The restriction does not cover the take-away of food. The rule will take effect on 16 November.