New coronavirus mask, certificate restrictions enter into force

A coronavirus vaccination certificate displayed on a mobile phone.
A coronavirus vaccination certificate displayed on a mobile phone. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Negative coronavirus test result certificates cannot be used to enter public places and masks must be worn from Monday (October 25). The rules will be in place until January 2022.

The new rules are in place to try and reduce the burden on the healthcare system, which has reached a "critical level", the government said last week.

Certificate restrictions

From today, only coronavirus vaccination or recovery certificates can be used to take part in public events and activities.

People without these certificates cannot take part in the following activities:

  • Sporting competitions or sports and exercise events;
  • Youth work, hobbies and hobby education;
  • Using public pools, spas, saunas or waterparks;
  • Conferences, plays, concerts or cinema screenings;
  • Entertainment services;
  • Visiting museums or exhibitions;
  • Eating-in at catering venues;
  • Attending indoor public meetings or in restricted outdoor areas.

An exception is in place for in-service training and exams. 

Mask rules 

A sign asking passengers to wear a mask on a Tallinn bus. Source: Helen Wright / ERR

Masks must be worn in public indoor areas. The rules must be monitored by retailers and service providers.

Those not wearing masks will not be allowed to enter public indoor spaces.

People will no longer be able to cover their nose and mouth with a raised collar, scarf or anything other than a face mask.

People are strongly recommended to use medical-grade masks.

Those who are unable to wear a mask for legitimate medical reasons must show proof from their doctor.

The new measures will remain in place at least until January 10, 2022.

School rules

Coronavirus testing station. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

New rules will also apply to self-isolation and testing in schools and for hobby education from November 1.

The new restrictions apply to all unvaccinated or non-recovered students.

Children defined as close contacts must immediately isolate at home and take a PCR test no sooner than four days after contact with an infected person.

The PCR test must be taken at a public testing facility.

If the result is negative, the student may return to school and/or their hobby group(s).

Involvement in other activities requiring a COVID certificate – such as attending cinema screenings, plays and concerts, visiting museums and spas and going to cafés – is not permitted for 10 days after coming into close contact with an infected person.

The new rules can be read on the government's website here.

Coronavirus in Estonia

Coronavirus vaccinations taking place at Sõle Sports Center on April 3, 2021. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

On Sunday (October 24), Estonia's 14-day coronavirus infection rate stood at 1,311.3 per 100,000 - one of the highest in Europe.

There were 1,787 new cases recorded - a number equivalent to the spring peak in March.

There are 466 people being treated in hospitals for COVID-19, and the majority are unvaccinated.

The healthcare system has the staffing capacity to treat approximately 600 coronavirus patients. It is thought this level will be hit by the start of November.

Doctors are calling for a lockdown and experts say it should be considered.

So far, 55.4 percent of the Estonian population - including children - have been vaccinated. Among adults, the rate is 68 percent.

How can the spread of coronavirus be stopped?

  • Keep your distance in public places.
  • Wear a mask in crowded places.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • If you develop symptoms stay at home and contact a family doctor.
  • You can also get vaccinated against coronavirus.

Coronavirus data

You can find more data about coronavirus in Estonia on the Health Board's website or at koroonakaart. Both websites are in Estonian, Russian and English.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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