Estonia's new coronavirus restrictions from November 1
New coronavirus restrictions will be in place across Estonia from Monday, November 1. Entertainment facilities close at 11 p.m., minors must show covid passes, and certificates need to be checked against ID.
- Covid certificates must be checked against an ID,
- Public events and activities must end at 11 p.m.,
- Youngsters aged 12-17 must now show a covid pass when participating in controlled activities,
- Rapid testing will start in schools.
COVID certificates only valid with ID
Organizers must check coronavirus vaccination and recovery certificates against an ID from now on.
Previously, this only had to be done in cases of reasonable doubt.
Negative tests certificates are not accepted from the over 18s.
Public events and activities must end by 11 p.m.
Opening hours for public indoor spaces will be closed between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The restriction affects lounges and nightclubs, bars, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, museums and exhibition venues, water parks, spas, public saunas and pools. Sports competitions and events must also end by 11 p.m.
The government recommended canceling all "major events in the public sector that are not absolutely necessary" until January 10, 2022.
This rule does not apply to the "opening hours of stores, service providers and catering establishments selling takeout", the government specified last week.
Coronavirus passes must be shown by 12-17-year-olds
Youngsters aged 12-17 must show a certificate proving vaccination, recovery or a negative PCR or rapid antigen test to participate in controlled activities.
The PCR test must have been administered within the last 72 hours by a healthcare professional. The rapid test must have been carried out within 48 hours either by a healthcare professional or in a general pharmacy.
While adults can no longer use test certificates, minors are allowed as they were given the opportunity to vaccinate much later than adults.
Minors do not have to present a certificate when participating in extracurricular activities, youth work, professional training and refresher training or when engaging in sports and exercise.
Certificates must be shown in theatres, concert halls and cinemas, when receiving entertainment services, visiting museums and exhibitions, dining in restaurants, saunas, spas and water parks.
Testing in schools
Weekly testing will be carried out in schools to disrupt the spread of the coronavirus.
Pupils will have to take rapid tests three times a week to make sure they are not infected with COVID-19. If a positive result is given, this must be confirmed with a PCR test carried out by a healthcare professional.
However, the testing is not part of the restrictions regulation and it is not regulated on the level of a government order.
Tallinn schools move to distance learning
Additionally, many schools in Tallinn will also move to distance learning for at least one week (November 1-5) by order of the Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center).
The rules affect children in grades four to eight.
Students in grades one to three, nine to 12, and those with special educational needs will continue in contact learning.
Last week, Tallinn City Government said there were 48 coronavirus outbreaks in 57 schools and almost 1,000 people were infected. Approximately 70 teachers are ill or in isolation.
Schools in Narva and Pärnu will also move to distance learning this week.
Coronavirus situation in Estonia
The government hopes the new restrictions will "stop the epidemic spread of the coronavirus and to avoid the related overcrowding of hospitals" and encourage people to get vaccinated.
Currently, 57.2 percent of the population of Estonia is vaccinated against coronavirus.
Estonia's healthcare system is in "critical condition" as 563 people are being treated for COVID-19 in hospital and the capacity limit is approximately 600.
The country has one of the highest 14-day infection rates in Europe - 1614.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. Only Latvia's is higher. The Health Board has said the number of cases is expected to grow in the coming weeks.
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.
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