Government agrees coronavirus restriction-lifting timetable

A sign saying
A sign saying "We are open" on a restaurant in Tallinn's Old Town in May 2020. Source: ERR/ Helen Wright

A timetable for lifting coronavirus restrictions has been agreed by the coalition, it was announced on Thursday. Some rules will be relaxed from Monday.

From Monday (February 7), children who have been identified as close contacts can go to school. Only those who have had a positive PCR test need to stay home.

From February 14, minors will no longer need to show coronavirus certificates.

From February 21, as long as the number of people in hospital remains stable, coronavirus passports will be scrapped for everyone.

The requirement for this is that fewer than 25 symptomatic patients have been admitted to hospital in the 10 days leading up to February 17.

In January, between 21 and 25 patients were admitted each week, but no one knows if this level will continue in February, ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Thursday.

The Center Party initially wanted to lift the coronavirus certificate for everyone from February 7, but Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) still said the agreement is a step in the right direction.

"We have clearly agreed on step-by-step relaxation and rules for the withdrawal of the domestic certificate," he said, recalling the issue had not been discussed until a few weeks ago.

Prime Minster Kaja Kallas (Reform) said the next restrictions will be lifted gradually and the plan was always to start with removing rules for young people and children.

"We also instructed the scientific advisory council to come up with proposals for the rest of these restrictions, at what speed, and to look at what the consequences of lifting each one would be," Kallas said.

Discussions about PCR testing, outdoor event limits and the 11 p.m. closing time will be discussed in the coming weeks. Kiik said the mask rule should remain.

Today, Kallas will discuss potentially harmonizing the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions with the prime ministers of Latvia and Lithuania.

Estonia's current rules have been in place since November.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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