Stenbock House, the seat of the Government of Estonia, Source:

Estonia gradually eases COVID-19 restrictions from April 26

Estonia gradually eases COVID-19 restrictions from April 26

Outdoor training will resume; shops, eateries and schools will reopen with strings attached

The Government of Estonia has approved a gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions, commencing on 26 April. According to the government press office, curbs on outdoor sports, training and hobby education will be the first to be lifted from that date.  

From 3 May, general education schools, shops and outdoor terraces of catering establishments will reopen under certain conditions. If the epidemiological situation allows, the restrictions will be further relaxed in May.

Rollback of restrictions at a glance

From April 26:

  • Group training for up to 10 people, including an instructor, is allowed outdoors. If there is more than one group, they must not come into contact with each other. Professional athletes and military trainees are exempt from these limits.

From May 3:

  • Classes 1-4 and children with special needs can resume in-school education.
  • Bar and restaurant outdoor terraces can serve customers until 9 p.m. with a 50 percent occupancy limit and up to 10 people seated at a table. Indoor service is still prohibited except takeaways.
  • All stores can reopen with a 25 percent occupancy limit. Masks must be worn inside and the 2+2 rule adhered to.
  • Sports, in-service and hobby education training can take place indoors but the 2+2 rule must be followed. Training in pairs is allowed, including at tennis courts and swimming pools, with 25 percent occupancy cap. Group training is not permitted indoors.
  • Museums and exhibition halls can be open until 7 p.m. with a 25 percent occupancy limit and adherence to the 2+2 rule.
  • Outdoor public meetings and events, including those in culture and entertainment, can be attended by maximum 150 people, in groups of up to 10 persons who do not come into contact with each other. All events must end at 9 p.m.
  • In elite sports, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors can take part in competitions without a time limit. Spectators are not allowed.

Sharp drop in new cases

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas explained that her government has followed the scientific advisory council's recommendations when deciding to ease the restrictions. The number of new coronavirus cases in Estonia has dropped sharply over the past month and the R number is now hovering between 0.8-0.85, meaning the infection rate is not rising. Nevertheless, the PM called on Estonians not to drop their guard.  

“I remind everyone that we must remain careful even when the weather warms up. Especially as previous experience has shown that after the school holidays, the infection curve goes upwards. We are monitoring the situation closely,“ said Kallas, quoted by the government press office.

60 percent of teachers vaccinated

Minister of Education Liina Kersna was quoted by ERR as saying that classes 1-4 will be returning to in-school education a week later than the end of school holidays so as to act as a buffer to prevent new outbreaks. She added that schoolchildren will be encouraged to learn and play outside as much as possible.

More than 60 percent of teachers have been vaccinated in 10 Estonian counties, with Harju (49 percent) and Ida-Viru (30 percent) lagging behind. The scientific advisory council has recommended rapid testing for all unvaccinated teachers.



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