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Restrictions on schools and sports in Estonia , Source: kriis.ee

Estonia closes schools and sports activities to rein coronavirus in

Estonia closes schools and sports activities to rein coronavirus in

Tougher additional measures will be imposed in Ida-Viru county

As current restrictions aimed at bringing the spread of the coronavirus in Estonia under control have proved to be insufficiently effective, the government is clamping down on schools, hobby educational activities and sports across the country. In Ida-Viru county, which is the prime epidemic hotspot, leisure, entertainment, cultural and accommodation services will be suspended for three weeks, and all public events will be cancelled. 

Yesterday, 547 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Estonia on a 24 hours basis, out of 5 699 tests conducted. Of all the tests performed in the last 14 days, a total of 5 515 have been found to be positive, upping the infection rate to 1004.98 per 100 000 inhabitants. 264 patients are in hospital, and deaths due to the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic stand at  139 – an enviably low number. 

"Controlling the spread of the virus requires a joint effort by all of us. Christmas and New Year will be different this year. We have to spend the holidays at home and within the family,” said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, quoted by the government press office.

Restrictions in Ida-Viru county

From 12 December, all cultural, entertainment, sports and leisure facilities, including cinemas, theatres, concert venues, museums and exhibition halls, restaurants, sports clubs, swimming pools and spas must close for three weeks. Accommodation providers will also have to shutter their premises for this period. Organizing public events will not be possible. Restrictions apply both indoors and outdoors.

Churches and other religious venues can continue their daily routines provided that the 50 percent occupancy requirement, the 2 + 2 rule, the obligation to wear a mask and the use of disinfectants are followed. The government calls on the clergy to take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at communion and the administration of other sacraments.

On-the-spot monitoring of compliance with the isolation obligation will be stepped up, especially for border crossers. Border crossings must be kept to a minimum. 

Restrictions all over Estonia

As of 14 December, all educational institutions will be closed, including general education schools, vocational schools, professional higher education institutions and universities. They may switch to distance learning. Kindergartens and childcare centres will remain open. In the new 2021, educational institutions will resume normal operation unless the government decides otherwise.

From 14 December, hobby education, hobby and sports activities for both young people and adults will be suspended for three weeks. Only individual activities, training and sports, as well as activities offered remotely, will be allowed.
Restrictions do not apply to professional athletes, but spectators are not allowed at such training sessions and competitive events. 

The government is pledging to develop additional financial compensation mechanisms for the areas most affected by the closures.

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