It is possible the "yellow scenario" for preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) will need to be implemented in Tallinn in the near future, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart said (Center) on Monday.
Speaking on ETV breakfast show "Terevisioon" Kõlvart said: "I think that the yellow scenario must be implemented in the near future. And not only in schools but in the entire city system."
Tallinn has implemented a red, yellow and green tiered system for dealing with the virus. Green means few restrictions are in place to stop the spread of coronavirus while red means the situation is severe.
A "yellow scenario" would mean decentralized learning for schools.
Currently, there are two schools in Tallinn which are ready to start decentralized learning. Kõlvart explained that the goal is to avoid schools completely switching to distance learning. He believes primary school children should be attending school.
At the same time, Kõlvart noted that people should act as if it were already a second wave of the virus.
"It's time for preventive action," he said. "Nobody wants the spring emergency situation to come again. Preventive measures must be taken," the mayor explained.
He said masks could be worn on public transport and in shops.
Explaining more about the "yellow scenario" Kõlvart told ERR News: "The yellow scenario is the most complicated for us – it means that there is no quarantine, but our work is organised in such a way that prevention and dispersion measures are put in place, as well as necessary restrictions.
"The first steps right now are implementing measures that do not affect the quality of the city services negatively – restrictions that do not directly affect the public, but the employees of the city system."
"This should be the first step even before there is an official understanding that we are in a new situation. This, putting prevention measures in place right now, may also help to prevent a worse scenario which is the red phase."
"Hopefully we can react better than in spring and choose our measures in such a way that there is no need to put our lives on hold."
Last week, on September 1, the new school year started and most children returned to the classroom for the first time since March. Schools are starting the year with children learning in the classroom but have been warned distance learning may be introduced at some point.
The coronavirus situation in Tallinn has risen in recent weeks after a cluster of outbreaks. The Health Board has said the situation is worrying and have advised elderly people to avoid crowded places.
* Update: Mihhail Kõlvart's quote to ERR new was added to this article.
Editor: Helen Wright