Government launches new coronavirus traffic light scheme

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Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) introduced the government's new traffic light coronavirus scheme on Thursday (April 8) which gives society a set of guidelines for living with the coronavirus.

There are four categories green, yellow, orange and red which range from 'low risk' to 'very high risk' and is dependent on the level of infection. Each category shows how individuals, the state and companies should behave.

Kallas said in a political statement that Estonia has been living with the coronavirus for more than a year and that it is time for society to take back control. 

"We have enough scientific knowledge and practical experience to know that the spread of this virus can be controlled if we, as a society, agree on certain rules, which we stick to together. This way we can keep life and the economy functioning and open," she said.

Long-term goals have also been set which the government has opened to public consultation.

Today, Estonia is in the "very high risk category".

ERR News has republished the categories below.

 

GREEN - low risk (madal risk)

COVID-19 situation: The coronavirus is spreading in the community in isolated cases of known origin, but the risk of the virus spreading further remains. 

Aim: The goal is to prevent the virus from spreading and to remain vigilant so that there are no restrictions.

What can everyone do?

  • Eat healthy, exercise and get enough rest.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Vaccinate yourself as soon as possible.
  • Stay home even if you experience mild symptoms, consult a doctor, get tested if you suspect COVID-19.
  • Download the HOIA app on your phone.

What is the government doing?

  • Organizes fast and extensive vaccinations.
  • Provides testing.
  • Detects possible outbreaks and sets isolation requirements for close contacts.
  • Supports preventive health behavior with clear guidelines.
  • Finds the best solutions to prevent the spread of the virus in cooperation with people.

What should organizations do? 

  • Create opportunities to prevent contamination.
  • Keep spaces well ventilated.
  • Allow distance learning, work and shopping.

 

YELLOW - average risk (keskmine risk)

COVID-19 situation: There are outbreaks in the community and the number of infections is increasing. 

Aim: The aim is to prevent risk groups from becoming infected and the need for restrictions.

What can everyone do?

In addition to low-risk activities:

  • Wear a face mask in public indoor areas.
  • Avoid crowded and confined spaces.
  • If possible, meet with acquaintances outdoors and reduce the number of people you meet.

What is the government doing?

In addition to low-risk activities:

  • Take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of infection without significantly limiting the scope for action, for example, creating occupancy and time limits in indoor areas and regional restrictions where possible.
  • Implements measures to protect at-risk groups, such as in care homes.

What should organizations do? 

In addition to low-risk activities:

  • Offer information about the risks of COVID-19 and give instructions.
  • Reduce the number of unnecessary contacts.

 

ORANGE - high risk (kõrge risk)

COVID-19 situation: Infections are spreading outside of known outbreaks and the number of cases is rapidly growing.

Aim: The aim is to ensure standard medical care can continue and to avoid the need for extensive restrictions.

What can everyone do?

In addition to low and medium risk activities:

  • Work and study from home or wear a face mask at work and school.
  • Communicate with people outdoors, over the phone, or online.
  • Help members of the risk group stay in touch and offer them contactless help.

What is the government doing?

In addition to low and medium risk activities:

  • Implement measures to reduce long-term contact in high-risk activities, such as additional occupancy and time restrictions indoors and outdoors, and limit group activities.

What should organizations do? 

In addition to low and medium risk activities:

  • Maximize the opportunity to work or learn remotely.
  • Offer outdoor solutions or otherwise reduce the number of contacts.

 

RED - very high risk (väga kõrge risk)

COVID-19 situation: The virus is widespread and the total number of infections is growing very fast.

Aim: The aim is to provide emergency medical care, follow restrictions and reopen society.

What can everyone do?

In addition to low, medium and high risk activities:

  • Avoid all out-of-home appointments.
  • If possible, volunteer to help others.

What is the government doing? 

In addition to low, medium and high risk activities:

  • Restricts all avoidable activities to prevent the virus from spreading from one household to another.
  • If necessary, sets additional occupancy and time limits for outdoor activities.

What should organizations do? 

In addition to low, medium and high risk activities:

  • Only essential workers should be present in the workplace.
  • Help people cope with the limitations.

 

The table below shows how risk categories have been calculated.

The vertical column of the table shows the average daily number of COVID-19 deaths during the last seven days. 

The horizontal column shows the average daily number of infections in the last 7 days. It can be viewed online here.

The government's traffic light system. Source: Stenbock Houe.

 

So far the guidelines have only been published in Estonian on the government's website.

Information about the level of risk can be viewed here, also currently only in Estonian.

ERR News will add links to the English page when possible.  

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Editor: Helen Wright

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