At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the government agreed in principle to support Ida-Viru County, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with additional measures worth more than €5 million.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said: "The second wave of the coronavirus has been especially rough on Ida-Viru County, where strict restrictions have been set stemming from high infection rates."
Most entertainment establishments, accommodation, sports and cultural institutions in Ida-Viru County have been required to shut until at least January 3 to stop the spread of the virus.
The government decided on Tuesday to support companies which have had to close with a total allocation of €2.1 million. The state aid aspect of this support measure must also be taken into consideration when applying for support, as the process can be delayed up to a month.
Minister of Foreign Trade and IT Raul Siem (EKRE) said: "The calculation of the specific sum of support will be based on the company's running year's November wages. The maximum amount that can be taken out for one company is €150,000."
Ratas added: "With the support measures agreed to today, we will support the sectors of accommodation, catering and entertainment in Ida-Viru County, but also culture, creative, art and sports activities and education across Estonia."
The government also decided to allocate €560,000 to the Ministry of Culture to support culture and hobby activities and education, of which €430,000 is meant for Ida-Viru County.
An additional €811,000 will be allocated for sports, including coaches' wages of which €60,000 will go toward Ida-Viru County. Education was allocated €1.5 million in support with €205,000 meant for Ida-Viru County.
Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) said: "Culture and sports have completely stopped in Ida-Viru County in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We must support the fixed costs of the culture and sports sector in order to maintain diversity in opportunities."
The details of the support package for Ida-Viru County will be decided on Thursday.
As of Tuesday (December 15), the 14-day infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants for Ida-Viru County stands at 1,081.5. The next closest Estonian county is Harju with a 14-day infection rate of 545.1.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste