Minister: Bar opening time restrictions will be lifted on Friday

A cocktail being made at a bar. Photo is illustrative. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Restrictions on opening hours at bars and nightclubs will be removed from Friday (June 11), Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab told ERR on Tuesday. Other restrictions will also be lifted.

"The closing time restrictions will disappear. This is not the case at events or catering establishments," said Aab (Center). He said the legal order will come on Thursday.

The restriction on the sale of alcohol was lifted on June 1. Currently, bars must shut at 10 p.m. Additionally, there will no longer be a limit on how many people can sit at a table in restaurants and bars.

He said in principle, nightclubs and bars can even open in the morning as long as the 50 percent occupancy rule is observed. The number of people allowed indoors is up to 600.

On Tuesday, the government said the risk level for the spread of the coronavirus had decreased from high to medium.

"Since the numbers are going down very fast, Midsummer will be more or less normal," said Aab. He said the further relaxation of restrictions will be discussed next week.

New restrictions

As of Friday, a maximum of 600 people will be allowed to participate in indoor events in sports, training, youth work, hobby activities and hobby education, refresher training and advanced training, while the dispersion and 50 percent space occupancy requirements must be taken into account. A maximum of 1,000 people may take part in an outdoor event held at a location with a limited area. 

In sports and exercise events, and sports competitions, indoor events will be allowed for up to 600 people, including spectators, with a 50 percent occupancy limit per room. Outdoor events taking place in a limited area will be allowed for up to 1,000 participants, including spectators.

Top-level sports competitions will be allowed both indoors and outdoors without limits concerning the size of the group or time. Up to 600 participants will be allowed indoors inclusive of spectators, and a 50 percent occupancy rate per room must be taken into account. Up to 1,000 participants, including spectators, will be are allowed at outdoor events taking place at a location with a limited area.

As regards public events, culture, churches and entertainment, starting from Friday, up to 600 people will be allowed to participate in indoor events. A 50 percent occupancy rate per room must be respected. The maximum number of people allowed to participate in these events outdoors in places with a limited area is 1,000. 

Also starting from Friday, museums and exhibition institutions can allow an indoor attendance of up to 600 people per room, subject to the dispersion requirement, with no more than 50 percent of the room occupied. Outdoor areas for visitors may be filled to no more than 50 percent of capacity.

In spas, saunas, aquaparks and swimming pools, attendance of indoor areas with water use will be limited to 600, subject to the dispersion requirement, with no more than 50 percent of the space occupied. 

At food service establishments, indoor occupancy of up to 50 percent of capacity is allowed. There will be no longer a limit on the number of patrons sitting at the same table. The requirement for dispersion must be taken into account.

In shops and service outlets, dispersion must be ensured and the space occupancy rate must not exceed 50 percent.

The government took decisions in principle on Tuesday, with the formal regulation set to be approved at a meeting on Thursday.

From June 14, events with a higher number of participants may also be organized provided that infection safety is ensured.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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