Thursday's long government sitting regarding measures to control the coronavirus did not see any new restrictions decided but Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps noted that the 2+2 distancing rule will likely be established next Tuesday along with a mask recommendation on public transportation.
Reps told Vikerraadio's morning show "Vikerhommik" on Friday morning that there are disagreements about making masks mandatory on public transportation and in tight interior spaces. "There will also likely be a row of exemptions. Children will certainly be exempt," Reps said.
The education minister noted there is not enough support for a general mask wearing obligation.
The government is also discussing sufficient social distancing and the 2+2 rule, implemented during the emergency situation in spring, meaning people should not move around in larger numbers than pairs and should also maintain at least two meters of distance from other people.
Reps said: "The probability of that coming back is great. The question is not if, but rather in what proportions the distancing requirement will come in."
She added that the government is also discussing extending the rule to stores and other public spaces as well.
When comparing Estonia's regulations to those of the Baltic states, which have discussed national emergency situations, Reps said: "We will act similarly to Scandinavia and Finland. We will keep society open for as long as possible."
There will be no mask wearing requirement in schools: "That is also the stance of the government's scientific council and the Health Board (Terviseamet)," the education minister said.
Reps acknowledged that some experts advising the government are saying the situation requires quick reactions. On the other hand, the economy's and peoples' ability to isolate in the darker months also plays a factor in discussions.
"The government is looking at the economic situation more than it did in the spring," she concluded.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste