Tallinn schools to remain open despite coronavirus threat

Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center).
Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) says the capital's schools are not currently under threat of closure due to coronavirus, though preparedness for possible future developments was crucial.

"There has been no increase in coronavirus numbers in Estonia in recent days," Kõlvart said on Monday night's edition of ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

Ten confirmed coronavirus cases have been established in Estonia to date, following over 300 analyses conducted by the Health Board (Tervisamet). As one of the cases was revealed to be a high school student, the school in question, Kristiine High School (Tallinna Kristiine Gümnaasium), closed its doors for two weeks from last Friday, but practically all other schools in Tallinn and Estonia remain open.

Some students who had returned from holidays in affected areas like northern Italy – the half term vacation was just a couple of weeks ago – are self-quarantining for 14-days but this is not mandatory; these students, along with the Kristiine school's, are having their schoolwork provided online, to be done at home. A public speaking competition organized by the British Estonian Chamber of Commerce (BECC) to take place at the Kristiine school on Wednesday has also been canceled, the organization announced Tuesday.

A national government meeting on Monday decided to put the education ministry, in concert with local authorities, on to drawing up guidelines on when to close an educational institution. Guidance is also coming for family doctors, in dealing with quarantine situations at schools.

Later on Monday, Tallinn City Government held its own meeting chaired by Kõlvart.

Should the figure of schools needing to be closed reach a critical level, then all schools and educational institutions, as well as craft and hobby schools, youth clubs etc. are to be closed, Kõlvart said at the meeting.

As for kindergartens, these operate under a different system and quarantine periods etc. there will be decided on a case-by-case basis, the mayor said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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