From August 26, masks must be worn in public indoor areas in Estonia where COVID-19 certificates are not checked, and the obligation to present COVID-19 certificates will be extended.
The government on Thursday adopted a decision in principle that, from August 26, a mask must be worn in public indoor areas where COVID-19 certificates are not checked, government spokespeople said.
In addition, in public areas where COVID-19 safety certification is required, this must apply to all clients or participants, regardless of the number of people.
"The widened spread of the significantly more contagious delta strain of coronavirus in Estonia has led to an increase in the spread of the virus and the number of hospitalized people is also increasing," Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said.
"We must actively protect ourselves and others so that the widened spread of coronavirus does not force us to lock up economic and social life again at the beginning of the school year. First, one must complete a vaccination course as soon as possible and be prepared to prove one's infection safety. Secondly, in order to reduce the spread of the highly contagious delta strain, we must start wearing masks not only on public transport but also in shops, banks and post offices and other uncontrolled public spaces."
Masks should be worn in public indoor areas where infection safety is not checked at the latest in a week's time. In addition to the already mandatory wearing of masks on public transport, this also applies to shopping centers, stores, but also to the provision of services in banks, post offices and elsewhere.
Children up to the age of 12 are still exempted from wearing a mask, as are those for whom covering one's mouth and nose is contraindicated for health or other significant reasons.
The COVID-19 certificate must be presented from August 26 onwards for all the following activities and events, both indoors and outdoors, in public places.
This means that the COVID-19 certificate must be presented for sport, training, youth work, hobby activities and education, refresher training and further training; sporting competitions and events; saunas, spas, water parks and swimming pools; at public meetings and events, including theater, cinema, concerts, conferences; museums and exhibitions; entertainment services; eating and drinking on site at catering establishments. All participants must also be checked for infection safety when the activity or event takes place at a place for the provision of service, such as when renting a restaurant or ordering a theater performance.
The COVID-19 certificate does not need to be checked for outdoor events with unlimited territory.
The COVID-19 certificate does not need to be presented in shopping centers or stores. It is also not necessary to prove one's infection safety when buying food for takeaway from a restaurant or cafe. However, as indicated above, a mask must be worn in these places or cases.
The COVID-19 certificate indicates whether the person has recovered from COVID-19, has been vaccinated or deemed equal to a vaccinated person, or has proof of a negative coronavirus test result.
People can create a COVID-19 digital certificate online in the patient portal. People who need help creating one can turn to the Social Insurance Board's service points, while local governments and libraries can also help people print out the digital certificates.
The government on Thursday adopted a decision in principle, the corresponding order is planned to be approved on Monday.
Editor: Helen Wright