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The government is planning further restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

20. November 2020 - 22:09

Stenbock House, 20 November 2020 – At today’s cabinet meeting, members of the government agreed in principle on further restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It is planned to make it obligatory to wear a mask or cover one’s nose and mouth in public indoor spaces, extend the so-called 2 + 2 rule, reduce the maximum number of participants in public events, etc. Stricter measures will be applied in the epicentres of the coronavirus epidemic – in Harju County and Ida-Viru County. Both the Health Board and the scientists advising the government support the new restrictions.

According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, the situation related to the spread of the coronavirus in Estonia is becoming more critical, especially in terms of the functioning of the medical system. “The epidemic spread of the coronavirus in Estonia means that we must introduce stricter restrictions to ensure the continuity of the Estonian health care system and the availability of treatment for everyone, even as the number of COVID-19 patients continues to increase. We have the opportunity to slow down the growth of the infection rate with joint efforts. For this, we must follow the restrictions set by the government and behave reasonably and in a mutually supportive manner,” said Ratas. “All of us must now make every effort so we could spend the Christmas holidays with our loved ones. Let us postpone major holiday events to next year and spend this Christmas in a smaller family circle.”



RESTRICTIONS IN HARJU COUNTY AND IDA VIRU COUNTY

Public events and meetings, culture and entertainment, churches


The 50% occupancy limit will apply to cultural institutions, which means halls with stationary seating, such as theatres, cinemas, concert venues as well as churches, and to public events (including conferences), public meetings, and entertainment activities (excluding children’s playrooms). The obligation to wear a mask or to cover one’s nose and mouth will apply everywhere in these places. A dispersed seating model must be applied in rooms with stationary seating. The maximum number of participants in indoor places with stationary seating is 400; elsewhere else, it is 250. For outdoor events, the maximum number is 500.

Hobby education and activities and indoor refresher training and refresher courses

A group limit of 10 people is set and the people must be dispersed. The obligation to wear a mask or cover one’s nose and mouth will apply to people over 12 years of age. The principle of reasonableness must be followed.

Indoor sports activities

Group training can be performed in groups of 10 people. For example, this applies to indoor fitness classes and other similar training activities. The restriction does not apply to professional and semi-professional sports under the auspices of sports governing bodies, including youth sports and extracurricular sports activities.

Public transport

During peak hours, more buses will be added to the schedule, and masks must be worn or one’s nose and mouth must be covered.

Upper secondary schools

Central organisation of distance learning in Harju and Ida-Viru counties, for which the Health Board will issue a corresponding order to local governments; the Ministry of Education and Research will issue the order to state educational institutions.


RESTRICTIONS THROUGHOUT ESTONIA

Obligation to wear a mask or to cover one’s nose and mouth in public indoor spaces
Obligation to wear a mask or cover one’s nose and mouth indoors, including on public transport and at service points, during hobby education and activities, as well as refresher training and refresher courses.
People for whom it is medically contraindicated, as well as children under the age of 12, do not need to cover their nose and mouth or wear a mask if sufficient distance is ensured and in other justified cases. The government is developing a plan to provide masks for disadvantaged people.

The 2 + 2 rule extends to public indoor spaces

The so-called 2 + 2 rule must be followed everywhere in public indoor spaces, which means that two people can move together but keep a distance of two metres from other people. This applies, for example, in bank branches, hairdressing and beauty salons, and elsewhere.
The current 10 + 2 rule will continue to apply in catering establishments and places where entertainment services are provided. The rule means that a group may include up to 10 people, but they have to keep a distance of two metres from others. These restrictions do not apply to families.

Public events and meetings, culture and entertainment, churches

The maximum number of participants in public events will be reduced. Up to 400 people can take part in an indoors public event with stationary seating, otherwise, up to 250 people are allowed. For outdoor events, the maximum number of participants is 500.

Work organisation

The strict recommendation to telework, if possible, remains valid.