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The government imposed the restrictions agreed on Tuesday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

12. November 2020 - 0:00

Stenbock House, 12 November 2020 – The government imposed new restrictions on visiting shops, shopping centres, and catering and entertainment establishments, and attending public meetings and events. Catering and entertainment establishments must close their doors to customers at 12 a.m. However, buying take-away food is allowed. The new measures will enter into force on Monday, 16 November.


2 + 2 and 10 + 2 restrictions on movement

The so-called 2 + 2 rule will be re-established in shops and common areas of shopping centres, such as corridors and the atrium. Pursuant to the order, no more than two people may move together and a distance of at least two metres must be kept with others. The restriction does not apply to families moving together and in situations where this cannot be reasonably ensured. The restriction does not apply to employees or places of service, such as pharmacies, banks, beauty salons, shoemakers, etc.

The government imposed a less restrictive restriction on the freedom of movement in the sales and service halls of catering establishments and in entertainment and cultural establishments, such as theatres, cinemas, concerts, nightclubs, etc., where groups of up to 10 people are allowed and a distance of at least two metres must be kept with others (the 10 + 2 rule).

The restriction applies to places outside of seating areas. In other words, it does not apply when you are sitting in your seat in a theatre or cinema. The restriction does not apply to the local staff. There is also an exception for families, which means that people in the same family can move together regardless of the size of the family.

The service provider must ensure that customers are able to meet the requirements and that groups of people can be dispersed outside the seating area. Catering establishments offering on-site dining must ensure that customers are able to meet the requirement of keeping a distance of two metres, for example, by placing tables at a sufficient distance.

Events with fixed seats will continue to be exempt from the 50 per cent occupancy limit, but the limit of 750 participants must not be exceeded.

Restrictions on opening hours do not extend to cultural institutions

In addition, the government has decided that catering and entertainment establishments must close their doors to visitors from midnight to 6 a.m. from Monday, 16 November. Take-away food sales and purchases are allowed.

Cultural institutions with stationary seats, such as theatres, cinemas, and concert halls, may keep their doors open to customers past midnight.

The aim of the order is to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19, while allowing people to continue with their normal lives as much as possible. Despite the restrictions, the rules still allow people to spend time together in smaller groups and companies to continue their economic activities.

The additional restrictions are necessary, as the spread of the coronavirus in Estonia has increased rapidly. According to the Health Board, as at 12 November, 374 new positive coronavirus test results were added in the past 24 hours, and the number of cases for every 100,000 people in the last fourteen days is 166. For comparison, on 14 October, the same indicator was 43, on 12 September, it was 22.8, and on 1 August, it was 4.

Both the Health Board and the Government Committee Scientific Advisory Board consider the introduced restrictions necessary.

The Government Communication Unit publishes the order and the explanatory memorandum to the order on the kriis.ee website.