The government imposes additional restrictions both in Ida-Viru County and across Estonia to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Stenbock House, 9 December 2020 – In order to control the epidemic spread of the coronavirus, the government is imposing restrictions concerning education, hobby education, and sports throughout Estonia. In Ida-Viru County, restrictions also 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 at tomorrow’s meeting.

“Based on the recommendations of the Science Council and the Health Board to minimise human contact and movement due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the government will temporarily impose additional restrictions that may be extended if the infection is not slowed down,” said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. “Gaining control over the coronavirus requires a joint effort by all of us. We will live through the coming weeks! Christmas and New Year’s Eve will be different this year. I urge everyone to spend the holidays at home among family.”

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, 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.

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.

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.

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 Estonia, 5,699 new coronavirus test results were added, 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 that the number of positive cases per 100,000 people is 414.98. The current number of hospitalised coronavirus patients is 264. Two new deaths were registered in the last 24 hours. In total, the coronavirus has claimed the lives of 139 people in Estonia.