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Estonian PM Kaja Kallas , Source: Kaja Kallas / Facebook

Estonia harmonizes Covid-19 restrictions across the country

Estonia harmonizes Covid-19 restrictions across the country

This comes in response to a downward infection trend in epidemic hotspots Harju and Ida-Viru counties and a rise in numbers in the South

Coronavirus restrictions which initially have been imposed in epidemic hotspots Harju and Ida-Viru counties will be harmonized across Estonia from February 3 and will apply in every county. Thursday’s decision was the first major move of the new government headed by Reform Party chairman Kaja Kallas, the first female PM in the country’s history.

The government acted upon the recommendation of the scientific advisory council which saw the Covid situation improving in Harju and Ida-Viru, while infections in the southern counties took a rising trajectory, ERR reported.

Restrictions at a glance

Catering, entertainment and recreational establishments, such as restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, bowling alleys and similar venues, may be open until 9 p.m. Customers will be  allowed in groups of up to six people and space between tables must be at least 2 metres. There will be no restrictions for takeaways.

The ban on the late-night sale of alcohol until 10 in the morning will apply as before. Recreational establishments must operate at 50 percent of capacity.

The current rules for stores and shopping malls will continue to apply, including mandatory mask-wearing, observance of the 2+2 rule, 50 percent occupancy and provision of disinfectants.

Indoor public meetings and events will be forbidden between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. For venues with fixed seating, a 50 percent occupancy limit will be imposed with attendance capped at 400 persons and dispersion rule strictly observed. For outdoor events, such as fairs and concerts, the current attendance limit (500 people) and time limit (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) will continue to apply.

Religious services will have to be held at 50 percent capacity and participants must be dispersed. Current attendance limits – 250 people in places with stationary seats, 400 in places without such seating, 500 outdoors – will apply.  

Saunas, spas, aqua parks and swimming pools will operate at 50 percent of capacity and will adhere to the 2+2 rule. Visitors must wear masks when not in direct contact with water, and disinfection requirements must be followed.    

Hobby activities, sports events

High-risk activities with intensive inhaling and exhaling leading to dispersion of aerosols, such as singing, dancing, martial arts, playing of wind instruments, etc., may take place indoors following the 2+2 rule. Low-risk activities (painting, pilates, guitar lessons, ceramics classes) can be conducted in groups of 10 students and one instructor.   

The number of people allowed in a group outside, including for sports events and competitions will increase from 25 to 50 participants. Contact between groups is forbidden. In museums, the obligation to wear a mask and comply with the 2+2 rule remains in place.

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