Government confirms coronavirus restrictions starting on March 6

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Empty cafe in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The government on Wednesday agreed to implement stricter restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus. The new restrictions come into effect on Saturday (March 6) and will end on March 28.

The government first published the proposed new rules concerning eateries, shops, education and sports events on Tuesday evening and they were agreed on Wednesday.

The new rules hope to lessen the burden on healthcare institutions and reduce the infection rate, which is the second highest in Europe and over 1,100 per 100,000 inhabitants.

"We have come to a situation where it is impossible to decrease the number of coronavirus infections without additional restrictions," said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) on Tuesday.

Additionally, regulations agreed by the government last week, closing entertainment facilities and limiting eateries' opening hours, came into effect yesterday (March 3).

The regulations set to take effect on Saturday have been republished below:

Catering and commercial establishments

Occupancy rates will be limited to 25 percent for shops and eateries.

Eateries must be closed at weekends and must shut at 6 p.m. on weekdays. Take-away can still be sold after 6 p.m.

Non-essential stores must close at weekends. Stores that sell food and necessities, such as pharmacies and eyewear stores, may remain open; this also applies to establishments that have a so-called drive-in option.

Outdoor establishments, such as the markets, will have to disperse customers.

Sporting and exercising events

Sporting and exercising events are only allowed for professional athletes, while people with special needs are allowed to participate in exercising events.

The government decided to cancel the Haanja Marathon of the Estoloppet ski marathon series that was supposed to be held on March 6.

Education

Students who are taking final and national exams at the end of the 2020/2021 schoolyear are allowed to continue with contact learning two days a week as of March 15. Schools are required to apply the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus pursuant to the guidelines of the Ministry of Education and Research.

Reduce contacts

The government is advising people to minimize all unnecessary contacts, and if a face-to-face meeting is inevitable, to meet in groups of up to 6 people.

The government advises employers and employees to, wherever possible, use remote ways of working.

The restrictions due to be implemented on March 6 can also be read on the government's website.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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