Swimming pools and spas will be among the last public facilities to reopen according to the government's exit strategy, Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) said.
Kiik told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Saturday there is a ranking system of what should be opened soonest which is prioritized by what is most important to the needs of society. Swimming pools and spas are amongst the last items on the list.
He said: "On the entertainment side, different activities which are not urgently needed are rather far down the rankings, this is so that we do not create a situation where the trend of infected people starts to rise again and we may have to give up some existing activities and services which we need to use every day."
He said pools and spas could be opened at the end of July or August. Kiik said, according to the exit strategy schedule, the final phase of mitigation measures could be reached around this time.
Kiik said the focus in May will be on shopping malls and education, and in June there may potentially be a lifting of restrictions concerning small public gatherings and sports.
Professor Irja Lutsar, head of the government's COVID-19 Scientific Council, said there would probably be a low-risk of contracting the virus at pools as the coronavirus is not a water-borne disease and the pool would be chlorinated.
Lutsar said if someone went to a spa or swimming pool alone or with a very small group, there would not be a problem, but these places attract a lot of people and the coronavirus spreads through social contact. The virus can also spread at spas which have saunas.
"Maybe a Finnish sauna with 100+ degrees kills the virus, but especially those at 40-degrees, which are wet, are more dangerous," she said.
Editor: Helen Wright