Peipsiääre municipality imposes strict COVID-19 rules after positive cases

One of the Peipsiääre district's most well-known events, the Kallaste onion fair, just missed the new restrictions, having taken place in late August.
One of the Peipsiääre district's most well-known events, the Kallaste onion fair, just missed the new restrictions, having taken place in late August. Source: Peipsiääre Rural Municipality

Local authorities in Peipsiääre, Tartu County, have put in place coronavirus regulations on a local basis which are comparable with national restrictions during the emergency situation which ran from mid-March to mid-May, anticipating a potential outbreak in the region.

The rural municipality in Peipsiääre made the decision at an extraordinary sitting on Tuesday after two people tested positive for COVID-19. The individuals have had close contact with a number of people, including relatives, it is reported. 

The regulations run from Wednesday, September 16 to Wednesday, September 30 as things stand, and require customer service staff to wear masks in all service outlets in the 5,500-strong municipality.

"We do not want a repeat of what happened on Saaremaa in the spring," mayor of Peipsiääre, Aleksandr Širokov, told regional daily Tartu Postimees (link in Estonian), referring to by far the worst-hit region of Estonia during the peak of the pandemic earlier this year.

Other restrictions include the banning of all public events, including fairs, sporting competitions, official receptions, meetings and other gatherings, the use of the Kallaste playground and stadium and a local youth center, and the closure of an exhibition.

The 2+2 rule (maximum two people gathering in public, families excepted, minimum two meters' distance from others in public) will apply, and street traders as well as those on the shores of Lake Peipus (Peipsi Järv), on to which the municipality abuts (Peipsiääre means Peipsi shore in Estonian – ed.) have to stop trading.

Additionally, the municipal sauna is closed, municipal libraries must work contactless-ly, and hobby groups in schools must be confined to children from that school or its immediate vicinity.

Schools themselves will remain working, however.

Mayor Širokov said the Health Board has referred several dozen municipal residents for COVID-19 tests, though notes that wait lines right now are longer than before.

"We will probably know the [test] results in a few days," he added. 

Notable population centers in the municipality, population density 20.5 people per sq km, are Alatskivi, with a few hundred people and dominated by the neo-gothic Alatskivi Castle and Kallaste (2017 population: 844). Kallaste and other settlements have large populations of Russian Orthodox Old Believers, descendants of Old Believers who fled religious persecution in Russia in the 17th century. 


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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