The Health Board is calling on everyone to celebrate Valentine's Day, Shrove Tuesday and the upcoming holidays safely and suggests public gatherings are canceled.
Director general of the Health Board Üllar Lanno said the epidemiological situation is serious enough to make it necessary to cancel any gatherings and even the traditional Shrove Tuesday sledding should be carried out in private.
"On Valentine's Day this Sunday, the best gift for our friends would be a virtual greeting or a phone call. This way, we will protect one another's health and help to ensure that we will be able to meet again in person one fine day, if we observe the restrictions," said Lanno.
Nationwide restrictions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 currently apply across Estonia. Gathering together is permitted, but with restrictions. The Health Board is advising that all public events be canceled for the near future.
Deputy director general of the Health Board Mari-Anne Härma said celebrations in workplaces are currently not safe and joint Shrove Tuesday events should be avoided.
"Social distancing should be practiced even outdoors, ensuring that everyone stays at least two meters away from others," Härma said.
School holidays should be spent in Estonia
School holidays will take place at the end of the month and the 103rd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Estonia on February 24.
During previous school holidays, the spread of coronavirus increased significantly, as people became careless and disregarded the restrictions, the Health Board said.
"We would certainly advise everyone to spend the school holidays in Estonia rather than going abroad, staying away from crowded places and wearing personal protective equipment,' said Härma.
She also said Independence Day events should be followed online this year.
"Even though Estonians are a mighty singing nation, we will have to replace the choir singing and concerts this year to celebrate our republic's birthday with safer activities. Concerts and festive gatherings at schools are also not safe. Instead, this special day can also be celebrated separately in each class," Härma said.
Editor: Helen Wright