Tartu mayor: We should re-establish 2+2 rule

Social distancing sign in Tartu.
Social distancing sign in Tartu. Source: Ahto Sooaru

A crisis council met in Tartu to discuss the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the city with three proposals being made to government, one of which being the re-establishment of the 2+2 rule.

The proposals also include limiting capacity in night clubs, hookah cafes and similar entertainment establishments to 100. A strong recommendation to wear masks when indoors was also brought up.

Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas said on Vikerraadio's news show "Uudis+" on Monday: "Before all, we want to remind the people that if we want to control this outbreak, which we undoubtedly want, we have to wear masks."

The city of Tartu will continue with establishing sufficient measures. A Curly Strings performance has already been canceled and all upcoming events are assessed. A visitation restriction has been set for care homes, a kindergarten group has been closed and Tartu University Hospital, which saw three employees infected with COVID-19, has taken steps to protect their employees and patients from a possible outbreak.

Klaas said it must be understood that the virus has not disappeared and it is important to adapt and learn to live with the virus. The recent outbreak can be traced back to a party at Vabank night club, and Klaas said that there is no possible way to lift any further restrictions.

The mayor did not wish to speculate on whether the fateful party at Vabank was organized to follow hygiene requirements. He added that all situations must be assessed separately and many institutions are following rules and have sufficient disinfectant and personal protective equipment available.

Tartu's "Car-free Avenue" was opened so that people could adapt and spend time in fresh air. Klaas said the creation of these opportunities was undoubtedly correct and important, but thinks young people are not taking the virus seriously enough. He thinks social media could be used to reach the younger generation, primarily to remind them to stay at home when they feel ill.

Answering a question on the upcoming schoolyear, Klaas said noone really wants to hear anything on distance learning and face-to-face education is always a preference, adding that education institutes from the University of Tartu to kindergartens will be sent directives on how to handle the novel coronavirus once again.

Klaas concluded: "If we follow the rules, we have nothing to fear."


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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