Most coronavirus restrictions to continue, gyms to reopen ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Disinfectant station at a gym.
Disinfectant station at a gym. Source: Golden Club

From January 18 restrictions on museums and exhibition halls will be lifted and gyms can reopen for individual training. The majority of restrictions in Harju and Ida-Viru counties will be extended for two more weeks, although schools will reopen on January 25.

Restrictions imposed on both counties in December to slow the spread of the virus were planned to end on January 17, but the majority will now be extended. Restrictions remain in place in spas, restaurants, entertainment and cultural events.

"The government has decided that, as a rule, the restrictions currently in force in Harju County and Ida-Viru County will be extended for two weeks," Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) told ERR on Thursday.

"But we have decided to allow individual athletes in Ida-Viru County and Harju County to train individually in the 1 + 1 variant from January 18, so that individual sports can be done indoors, and we have also decided that museums and exhibition halls can open with 50 percent capacity from January 18."

1 + 1 means one person, with at least one-meter distance between themselves and another person.

Minister of Education Jaak Aab (Center) told ERR that schools will be opened in Harju County and Ida-Viru County from January 25, as previously reported. The decision was made after a recommendation from the government's scientific advisory council.

"Certainly it will lead to additional contact, but the scientific council suggests that learning should still be contact learning and to keep other restrictions in place instead," he said.

Restrictions in place in Harju and Ida-Viru counties are republished below: 

Harju County 

Harju County's restrictions have been in place since December 28. 

It is not allowed to provide any entertainment services anywhere - casinos, bowling and billiard halls, adult clubs and premises of accommodation facilities. Accommodation establishments may continue to provide accommodation services.

All sales and service premises of catering companies must be closed to customers. Food takeaway and related delivery service are permitted. All sports facilities must be closed for visitors, including sports club, saunas, spas, swimming pools, water parks. Restrictions do not apply to professional athletes, including national championship teams, team members and team candidates. There is also no restriction for people with special needs.

It is not allowed to hold public meetings and events, including conferences, theatre performances, concerts, and indoor cinema viewings. Museums and exhibitions must also be closed to visitors. Up to 10 people can take part in public events and meetings outdoors.

Indoor youth work, hobby activities and informal education, further training, and continuous education, as well as sports and coaching activities are prohibited. All these activities are allowed outdoors for a group of up to ten people and a coach.

Kindergartens and childcare facilities will remain open, but guidelines issued by the Estonian Health Board and local government to prevent the spread of the virus must be followed.

50 percent use of maximum capacity restriction will apply to public religious services from December 24

A 50% use of maximum capacity ceiling will be applied to worship and religious services throughout Estonia in order to avoid the risk of the coronavirus spreading during the Christmas holidays. Masks must be worn indoors, disinfection requirements must be met and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus must be followed.

Restrictions on educational activities for general education schools will remain in place nationally until the end of the school holidays, January 10. (incl.)

The Government extended restrictions on educational activities until January 10, 2021 (incl.). The extension of restrictions affects general education schools, vocational training institutions, universities of applied sciences, and universities. Those schools where the break ends before January 10, Years 1 to 4 may return to school for classes. The restrictions, which will come into force after January 10, will be discussed by the Government at a cabinet meeting next week.

Ida-Viru County

Ida-Viru County's restrictions have been in place since December 12. 

Entertainment and accommodation facilities, museums, and exhibitions must be closed to customers and visitors. The restriction on accommodation services does not apply to people directly involved in resolving the emergency situation, such as doctors and nurses who have gone to work in Ida-Viru County from other parts of Estonia.

All sports facilities must be closed to customers, including sports clubs, saunas, spas, swimming pools, water centres, and swimming pools. The restriction does not apply to professional sports activities taking place in the competitive system of sports governing bodies, including members and candidates of adult and youth national teams and big league teams, activities related to the country's military defence and internal security, and people with special needs.

All sales and service halls of catering companies must be closed to customers. Food takeaway and related courier service will be allowed.

Both outdoor and indoor public meetings and events, including conferences, theatre performances, concerts, and cinema screenings are not allowed.

Churches and other religious venues may remain open under the current requirements.

It is prohibited to conduct youth work, hobby activities and education, refresher training, and refresher courses. These activities may only be continued as individual activities or at a distance. The restriction does not apply to activities related to the country's military defence and internal security, as well as to people with special needs.

Exercise and training in public indoor areas are not allowed. Contactless individual activities and training are allowed outdoors, either alone or with a trainer. The restriction does not apply to professional sports activities taking place in the competitive system of sports governing bodies, including members and candidates of adult and youth national teams and big league teams, activities related to the country's military defence and internal security, and people with special needs.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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