Government discussing New Year's Eve coronavirus rules exceptions

New Year's fireworks last year, at Inglirand on Reidi tee in Tallinn.
New Year's fireworks last year, at Inglirand on Reidi tee in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The government is discussing plans to temporarily suspend some coronavirus rules on New Year's Eve. Rules will not be fully lifted due to the unknown effects of the Omicron strain.

Covid-19 quarantine requirements and restrictions for the sick and close contacts have been extended by the government until March 31. Additionally, all entertainment facilities must be closed by 11 p.m.

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Thursday exceptions will be made to the restrictions on December 31.

"We have previously said that certain relaxations must be made for the turn of the year. It is not conceivable to tell people that the turn of the year will start an hour or two earlier this year," Kiik said.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said the rules will be agreed on at the beginning of next week.

She said, despite Estonia's falling infection rate, fully lifting the rules has not been agreed upon because of Omicron. Kallas said it is still unknown if the strain is "more dangerous" than others.

"[T]herefore the recommendation of the scientific council and the Health Board has been to wait for more relief, which our level [infection rate] would already allow, so as to not find ourselves in a situation again where the virus is spreading very fast," the prime minister said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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