Government may allow children's summer camps of up to 300

Eduation minister Mailis Reps (Center).
Eduation minister Mailis Reps (Center). Source: ERR

The coalition government may permit children's summer camps, as well as students' summer work camps, to go ahead with up to 300 participants.

Education minister Mailis Reps (Center) says the government is to discuss the issue Thursday, with camps of that size potentially getting the go-ahead from mid-June.

Both children's summer camps, including those focusing on particular hobbies or areas of education, and student work camps ("malev" in Estonian) are a regular and traditional fixture during a summer break which can last around three months.

This year's emergency situation measures have additionally seen all schoolchildren being taught remotely at home for coming up to two months already.

"We have not managed to address all the important issues of the [coronavirus] exit strategy, but the question of whether children and young people can spend time in camps through summer – while supported by the government – will be discussed Thursday," Reps said on Wednesday, noting this would include hobby-based camps, summer projects and similar.

"The largest camps could have up to 300 participants. There is a lot of interest in these, and the desire is to start them up in the second half of June. The [government's coronavirus] research council has also been supportive of the same idea," Reps said.

The news follows a general lifting of restrictions which have seen shopping malls reopen, along with outdoor sports facilities and playgrounds, as well as public events with crowds of up to 1,000 permissible in July and August.

Some considerations will still need to be taken on board, however, including the provision of disinfectants, which, since they are alcohol-based, the fact they are flammable and carry with them other hazards mean these cannot be distributed to camp attendees generally, but must be available in key locations such as canteens.

Culture minister Tõnis Lukas seconded Reps' call, according to ERR's news in Estonian, adding that the same measure should apply to sports camps.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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