The Estonian government imposes additional restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

In order to control the epidemic spread of the novel coronavirus, the Estonian government is imposing restrictions concerning education, hobby education and sports throughout the country.

In Ida-Viru County, restrictions apply to leisure, entertainment, cultural and accommodation services and all public events will be prohibited in the county. The government plans to approve the order on 10 December.

Restrictions in Ida-Viru County

From 12 December, leisure activities will be suspended, holding public events will be prohibited and all entertainment facilities, including cinemas, theatres, concert venues, museums, exhibition halls, catering establishments, sports clubs, swimming pools, spas and accommodation establishments will be closed for three weeks. These restrictions apply both indoors and outdoors.

Churches and other religious venues can continue their daily work if the 50 per cent occupancy requirement, the 2+2 rule (maximum parties of two and keeping two metres (6.5 feet) apart with other parties) and the obligation to use a mask and disinfectants are followed. The government calls on churches and religious ministers to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus at communion and other sacraments.

Sillamäe church in Ida-Viru County, Estonia. The image is illustrative.

Supervision over compliance with the isolation obligation, especially concerning border crossers, will increase. Border crossings must be kept to a minimum.

Restrictions throughout Estonia

From 14 December, all educational institutions will be closed: general education schools, vocational educational institutions, institutions of professional higher education and universities. In 2021, studies will continue as usual, unless the government decides otherwise.

In-person learning is allowed for students with special educational needs, and personal consultations, olympiads, internships and examinations are allowed if measures of trust are used. Educational institutions may continue their activities using distance learning.

Kindergartens and childcare institutions will remain open.

From 14 December, hobby education, hobby activities and sports activities for both young people and adults will be suspended for three weeks. Only individual activities, learning, sports and activities offered remotely will be allowed. Individual sporting activities outdoors are allowed.

Toila Spa Hotel in Ida-Viru County, Estonia. The image is illustrative.

The restrictions do not apply to professional athletes, including big league teams, athletes in national teams and candidates for national teams. Such athletes may train and compete both individually and in teams; spectators are not allowed.

Over 500 new cases in one day

Supervision over compliance with the isolation obligation will be stepped up.

The government will develop additional financial compensation mechanisms for the areas most affected by the closures.

In the 24 hours preceding 9 December, 5,699 new coronavirus test results were added in Estonia, of which 547 were positive. Out of the tests performed in the last 14 days, a total of 5,515 tests have turned out positive, which means the number of positive cases per 100,000 people is 414.98.

Currently, 264 people are hospitalised with the novel coronavirus. Two new deaths were registered in the last 24 hours preceding 9 December. In total, the coronavirus has claimed the lives of 139 people in Estonia.

The cover image is illustrative. Photo by Edwin Hooper/Unsplash.

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