Scientific council recommends kindergarten children stay at home

Kindergarten children spelling out
Kindergarten children spelling out "spring" with the final snowballs of the winter. Source: Tartu lasteaed Poku

The government's scientific council recommends those who will not go to work from Monday, when restrictions are relaxed, to keep their children at home and not take them to kindergarten.

From Monday, several restrictions will be eased - stores will open, as will museums, exhibitions, cafe outdoor terraces. Schools and sports clubs will also open at small capacities. All this means that many people who were working from home or waiting out the restrictions must now go back to work.

As the pandemic grew to start this year, the government and its advisory scientific council recommended kindergarten children to remain home in an effort to avoid further outbreaks. There is no restriction on taking kids to kindergarten imposed, but a strong recommendation has been given. That has left parents to keep an eye on their little ones while working from home.

Although primary school classes (1-4) and graduating classes (9&12) will go back to school from Monday, the government has not commented or changed their recommendation on kindergartens.

What should parents do in the upcoming week? Should children be taken to kindergarten?

The Health Board (Terviseamet) stays away from a concrete answer. "Kindergartens have not been closed, nothing will change in that regard from May 3. Closing kindergartens come with great effect to general life organization, which is why we need to ensure that kindergartens remain open even if the virus spreads more," said Health Board spokesperson Kirsi Pruudel.

"Kindergartens can operate in regular group line-ups. Contact with all other groups must be avoided when performing activities. Children, parents and staff with symptoms cannot go to the establishment," the spokesperson added.

The scientific council also discussed the kindergarten question. Their position is somewhat more specific than that of the Health Board's.

The scientific council understands that in connection to relaxed restrictions, many parents must go to work from the upcoming week - you cannot work from a distance in stores, museums, cafes or schools if they have been opened, the work requires contact with clients or students.

Therefore, the council recommends only those children be taken to kindergarten whose parents must physically go to work from Monday. Unemployed people or people still capable of working from home should keep their children to minimize the risk of infection.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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