The Estonian government declares an emergency situation due to coronavirus

The Estonian government has declared an emergency situation, due to the coronavirus disease spread in Estonia.

For the latest developments in Estonia, follow our special blog on coronavirus.

The emergency situation will run, as of now, until 1 May 2020, unless the government will decide otherwise. It also affects schools, cultural life and cruises. “The absolute priority of the government is to protect the health of the Estonian people in this situation,” the prime minister, Jüri Ratas, said, after the cabinet meeting. “The emergency situation is necessary to prevent the contagion of the coronavirus the most efficiently. The state has to have the ability to give the people clear and, if need be, mandatory orders that would help limit the contagion of the virus.”

The measures during the emergency situation

  • All public gatherings are banned.
  • From 16 March, all schools will have to suspend in-house studies – it will be substituted by at-home learning. All primary, basic, upper secondary, vocational and higher schools and universities will on 13 March provide guidance and materials for further studies. The schools for students with special needs are an exempt and specific measures will be taken (the government did not specify on 12 March).
  • Research and development in universities and research institutions will continue.
  • The opening hours and organisation of work of kindergartens and childcare will be decided by the local authority or an authority in charge of the kindergarten.
  • Hobby education must be suspended from 16 March.
  • People will have to go through sanitary checks at land border checkpoints. People will also have to fill in the forms when they enter Estonia to determine where they have been. At airports and ports, sanitary controls will be introduced, and questionnaires will be introduced similarly to land border checkpoints.
  • The sale of Tallinn-Stockholm-Tallinn passenger ship tickets will be suspended. In cooperation with the shipping companies, measures to limit the spread of the virus will be developed and implemented.
  • Libraries remain open only to a limited extent.
  • Museums and cinemas will be closed to visitors until 1 May. All performances, concerts and conferences are banned.
  • All sporting events are banned until 1 May.
  • There will be a visit ban at all care homes, hospitals and detention facilities.

As of 13 March, there are 68 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease in Estonia, according to the country’s Health Board.

Please see the Estonian World’s special blog on coronavirus in Estonia for more information.

The cover image courtesy of the Estonian Health Board.

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