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Government statement: Saaremaa and Muhu restrictions

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. Source: Jüri Ratas/Facebook

On Saturday evening the government issued new tougher restrictions for Saaremaa and Muhu to combat the spread of the coronavirus on the islands.

The full unedited statement is below:

The person in charge of the emergency situation, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas signed an amending order to the emergency situation in the municipalities of Saaremaa and Muhu, according to which most of the stores and close contact service providers must close their doors from Sunday. Notably stricter restrictions on movement will go into force on Monday. The person in charge of the emergency situation is calling on employers to allow a maximum level of distance work for their employees.

The goal of making the emergency situation stricter is to limit the local spread of the virus more strongly and reduce the burden on the health care system. This helps to protect the lives and health of the people in the municipalities of Saaremaa and Muhu. According to the Health Board, in the last 24 hours Saaremaa was the area with most new registered coronavirus infections (34). As of the morning of March, 28, the total number of infections is 217, which is in the same range as the whole Harju County.

Starting tomorrow, only grocery stores, pharmacies, points of sale of telecommunications companies, bank offices, parcel terminals, post offices, stores where technical aids and medical devices are sold or rented, and also optician's stores may remain open in the municipalities of Saaremaa and Muhu. Construction stores may remain open for sales through a window or from the storeroom. The sales area of the store must be closed. Gardening stores may also remain open.

All other stores and markets must be closed to customers. The restriction does not include employees and owners, so that e-commerce could continue.

From tomorrow, all eateries must be closed for eating on site, takeaway and delivery service for taking food home are allowed.

From tomorrow, all services that require close contact must be closed – cosmetic surgery services, beauty and personal services (for instance hairdressing, manicure, pedicure, beautician, tattooing and solarium services), and massage and other rehabilitation services as wellness services.

Social and health care services, soup kitchen services, food aid, care service, services aimed at disabled children and adults, and treatment and rehabilitation services are still allowed.

Libraries must also close for visitors tomorrow.

Starting Monday, the restrictions on movement will become stricter for people in the municipalities of Saaremaa and Muhu.

The islanders have to stay at home. It is allowed to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy and the doctor. It is only allowed to go to work if it is not possible to do distance work. It is allowed to take children to the kindergarten and bring them home from there. If needed, it is allowed to go to take care of the elderly, the disabled and those in need of help, in that case personal protective equipment must definitely be used.

It is allowed to go for a walk or a workout with family or one other person. Pets can be taken out and to the veterinarian. It is allowed to move in your own garden or on your own property, to do forestry or farm work at home, to fish, to do gardening. It is allowed to go to the post office or a parcel terminal.

A person must have an ID document with them when moving around outside. A general 2+2 rule applies to moving around outside, according to which only 2 people can be in a public space together and a 2 metre distance must be kept from others.

The implementation of the emergency situation measures is monitored by law enforcement officials who will begin spot checks of people moving outside. If a person does not adhere to the measures enacted, the police will issue a precept. If that does not help, the next sanction used will be a penalty payment of up to 2000 Euros. People violating the terms of the restriction will be brought to justice.

The necessity of the measures will be re-evaluated every two weeks.

More information at www.kriis.ee and from the phone number 1247

The media must publish this order issued by the person in charge of the emergency situation without delay, unchanged and free of charge.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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