Government: Sticking to 2+2 rule no longer required ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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Social distancing sign in Ülemiste Keskus shopping mall in Tallinn.
Social distancing sign in Ülemiste Keskus shopping mall in Tallinn. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

The government at Thursday's cabinet meeting changed the requirement to stick to the 2+2 rule to a recommendation starting from Friday. Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen on July 1.

Starting from Friday, June 19, the government has decided to replace the 2+2 rule with a requirement to disperse people. This means that a safe distance between people must continue to be maintained, but the state no longer requires compliance with the 2+2 rule.

Dispersion requirements will replace the 2+2 rule in public spaces, such as stores, service points and public-use spaces at shopping centers as well as at casinos and slots locations. Dispersion must also be ensured at public events, public meetings and religious services.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) wrote on social media: "As the prevalence of the coronavirus remains low, we in the government decided to further relax restrictions against it.

"The consensus was also that the Health Board should publish guidelines regarding how we can protect ourselves and others from infection in public spaces, among them maintaining a distance, using disinfectants and cleaning regularly."

The requirement will apply to public saunas, spas, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys, pool halls and children's playrooms, basic schools, high schools, vocational schools and institutes of higher education, training centers, hobby schools and recreational activities and public youth center activities. It will also be in place at children's and student camps, sports and museum and exhibition visits.

The government also decided to lift restrictions on driving schools according to which only the instructor and one student could be in the car at one time.

Penalty payments will also no longer be imposed for not following the rule.

However, the 2+2 rule may still be applied at select locations.

As of July 1, nightclubs, hookah bars and adult entertainment clubs may also reopen again on condition operators ensure the appropriate dispersion of customers, a 50 percent capacity, a maximum of 100 participants and disinfectant requirements.

On Wednesday, virology professor Irja Lutsar, the head of the government's scientific advisory council, said the council had recommended the government lift the 2+2 rule as people had not followed it for a long time.

The 2+2 rule limited people to moving around in public in groups of two. People were also required to keep a distance of two meters from others. The rule was introduced in March at the beginning of the emergency situation. It did not apply to family groups.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Aili Vahtla, Helen Wright

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