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Estonia’s Harju County wakes up to new corona restrictions

Estonia’s Harju County wakes up to new corona restrictions

Measures mirror those already in place in Ida-Viru County and will be in effect at least until 17 January

Entertainment venues, bars, catering, sports and leisure facilities shutter today throughout Harju County, reports ERR. The additional measures taking effect in the largest Estonian county, including the capital Tallinn, mirror those already introduced in Ida-Viru County.

They were agreed upon last week and will stay in place at least until 17 January with the aim of breaking the transmission chain of the coronavirus. The government has earmarked EUR 23 million to support affected businesses.

Hotels and guest houses may continue to provide accommodation services. Restaurants can switch to takeaways and remote deliveries only. Shopping malls and churches will remain open with reduced capacity and mandatory mask-wearing.

Kindergartens and childcare facilities will also operate with strict health guidelines in place. General education schools, vocational training institutions, and universities will stay closed until the end of the school holidays on 10 January. Hobby activities and informal education may only be carried out in open air in groups of up to 10 people and a coach.

Public meetings and events are not allowed, including conferences, workshops, theatre performances, concerts, and indoor cinema screenings. There is an exception of a maximum of 10 people meeting outdoors. Museums and exhibition halls must also be closed to visitors.

The health situation warrants tougher measures

On Sunday, 27 January, Estonian health authorities reported 370 new coronavirus cases or 14,8 percent of all conducted tests were positive.

There are estimated to be 4 309 active cases in Harju County and the majority are in Tallinn. In a statement last week, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas referred to the growing number of hospital admissions and the coronavirus spreading among medical staff. He reiterated that current containment measures have proved insufficient to slow the infection rate. “We have to make difficult decisions to protect our medical system from overload and ensure access to medical care for all,” said Ratas.



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