News

New regulations ensure 2 + 2 rule applies in stores

03.04.20 ... From Saturday, all stores and service points must calculate how many shoppers can fit inside their premises so they can follow the 2 + 2 movement restriction rule, an order signed by head of the emergency situation, Jüri Ratas, stated. Stores must also provide disinfectants for shoppers to use.

University of Tartu invites people to take part in coronavirus study

03.04.20 ... The University of Tartu (ÜT) is gathering data on the coronavirus outbreak and calls on people to participate in a study to map and model the spread of the virus.

Tallinn Airport sees 55 percent drop in March passenger numbers

03.04.20 ... The number of passengers to be served by Tallinn Airport in March dropped 55 percent on year to 103,000.

Interview: Kuressaare Hospital's medical chief Edward Laane

03.04.20 ... The island of Saaremaa is at the epicenter of the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Estonia with 359 cases of a total 961. ERR News spoke to Kuressaare Hospital's medical chief Edward Laane about the situation on the island and how the hospital is coping.

More than 2,500 people registered as unemployed this week

03.04.20 ... The number of registered unemployed in Estonia totaled over 42,000 on Friday, Unemployment Insurance Fund director Meelis Paavel told ERR.

'Disco Elysium' triumphs at the BAFTA Games Awards

03.04.20 ... "Disco Elysium", the detective role-playing video game by Estonian-launched international studio ZA/UM, picked up three prizes at the 16th annual Bafta Games Awards on Thursday.

Estonian sports to receive €3 million aid package from state

03.04.20 ... The supplementary budget presented to the Riigikogu by the coalition government on Thursday includes a €3 million aid package to Estonian sports.

Sports coaches will not receive state support after coronavirus job losses

03.04.20 ... With sports clubs across Estonia closed, many coaches and trainers who worked, sometimes alongside other jobs, on flexible contracts are now finding themselves not only without work, but also without any state support.

Health Board starts Prangli island medical brigade

03.04.20 ... The Health Board and the North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH) in Tallinn are together setting up a first aid brigade, which will start work on the island of Prangli from the beginning of April.

Estonia contributing to new EU Libya mission

03.04.20 ... The government has approved Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) participation in EUNAVFOR MED/IRINI, the European Union's latest military operation which started this week and serves as the continuation of the now-concluded Mediterranean mission SOPHIA.

Head of EAS: Even a strong fish cannot live for two hours in the sun

03.04.20 ... What will happen at the end of the economic crisis? Head of Enterprise Estonia (EAS) Peeter Raudsepp fears two things when thinking about when that time comes, that more people who have lost their jobs and income will leave Estonia and that foreign capital will start buying up successful Estonian companies.

Statistics Estonia: Mobility has decreased during the emergency situation

03.04.20 ... People are following the rules of the emergency situation and movement has decreased, the preliminary results of a mobility analysis carried out by Statistics Estonia using anonymous mobile phone data show.

Weapons permit validity to be extended through end of emergency situation

03.04.20 ... The Estonian government approved a bill seeking to extend the validity of weapons permits and firearms use-related permits for those otherwise set to expire during the emergency situation.

More digital solutions can be used in criminal proceedings

03.04.20 ... According to a Ministry of Justice press release, the government has approved the draft legislation submitted by the justice ministry, making it possible to use more digital solutions in criminal and misdemeanor proceedings and reduce physical contact in the performance of procedural acts. This is all part of the consolidated draft legislation prepared by the government to combat COVID-19.

Did you write it correctly? The text for this year's e-dictation exercise

03.04.20 ... Vikerraadio's 13th annual e-dictation exercise took place on Friday morning, with radio listeners listening to the text as read by Vikerraadio editor Kaja Kärner and those with hearing impairments reading the text from the lips of "Aktuaalne kaamera" editor Janet Õunapuu via video on ERR.ee. The full text of this year's exercise is below.

Health Board: Coronavirus cases to reach peak by end of next week

03.04.20 ... Estonian coronavirus cases continued their upward trend as 103 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, the Health Board (Terviseamet) said on Friday. Deaths due to the coronavirus have risen to 12. The epidemic is expected to peak by the end of next week.

Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee issues statement on EU and NATO unity

03.04.20 ... The Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee has adopted a statement in support of the unity of the European Union and NATO, and the solidarity between member states, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's Spring Storm military exercise scaled down

03.04.20 ... The annual Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) large-scale military exercise is to be held in a reduced format this year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects, with personnel from allied and artner nations slated to take part now not doing so.

New four-lane road section of Tartu highway opened to traffic in August

03.04.20 ... The new four-lane section of the Tallinn-Tartu highway between Kose and Võõbu is scheduled to be opened to traffic in August.

Kohtla-Järve city government closed after chair tests coronavirus-positive

03.04.20 ... Chair of the city government in the eastern Estonian town of Kohtla-Järve Riina Ivanova was one of those who tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus on Thursday. Some 20 city government employees are now in two-week quarantine, after coming into contact with Ivanova in their council activities.

Farmer: Agriculture labor shortage cannot be solved by hiring city workers

03.04.20 ... The Estonian agriculture sector can not manage without migrant labor because the acute labor shortage has lasted for decades, farmers have said after plans to send migrant workers home were agreed by the government on Thursday. The government thinks unemployed Estonians should be sent to the country to work instead if there are vacancies, farmers do not agree.

Passenger ferries to Finland continue to next week as restrictions held up

03.04.20 ... The Finnish government has reversed course on restrictions brought in to counter the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which should have stopped ferry passengers traveling there this week. This means Estonian shipping line Tallink can continue operating both ways between Tallinn and Helsinki.

National Opera to broadcast performances online from Saturday

03.04.20 ... Starting this Saturday, 4 April, Estonian National Opera will offer free broadcasts of certain performances via Facebook.

Aab: Local governments to receive €130 million from supplementary budget

03.04.20 ... The Estonian government submitted its supplementary budget bill to the Riigikogu on Thursday. To mitigate the effects of the crisis, local governments will receive €30 million, with another €100 million earmarked for economic recovery.

Estonian firm offering Ukrainian police cadets cyber hygiene training

03.04.20 ... Estonian based cyber security company Cybexer Technologies is cooperating with the Ukrainian National Academy of Internal Affairs by offering free cyber hygiene training to Ukrainian police cadets. In addition, the company has opened up a free e-learning course.

Interest in ETV+ programs in Russian has increased significantly

03.04.20 ... An increase of weekly viewers to 200,000 shows that people who previously only followed certain shows, are not following the channel regularly.

Vikerraadio's online Estonian dictation test starts at 10.30 a.m. Friday

03.04.20 ... ERR radio channel Vikerraadio's 13th annual dictation exercise takes place on Friday at 10.30 a.m. Estonian time.

Elering reports €32.8 million net profit for 2019

03.04.20 ... Electricity grid distributor Elering has reported 2019 net profits of €32.8 million, up from €18.6 million in 2018, in part aided by lower financial expenses. The company's main focus last year was the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland.

Overnight storms cause 1,639 power outages as of Friday morning

03.04.20 ... High winds overnight Thursday to Friday left 1,639 households without power as of Friday morning, Baltic News Service reports.

Foreign minister joins NATO counterparts in coronavirus remote meeting

03.04.20 ... NATO foreign ministers, including that of Estonia, met on Thursday via a video link, discussing the coronavirus pandemic, its effects, and counter measures, noting that the current health crisis should not take on a security dimension as well.

Interior ministry rejects further coronavirus restrictions in Võru

03.04.20 ... The interior ministry has drawn a line at further coronavirus restrictions in the southeastern Estonian town of Võru, and its surrounding county, in response to a letter addressed to the prime minister in late March asking for a tightening of regulations in one of the more affected regions of the country. The ministry says the desire for greater restrictions must be weighed against the public's willingness to comply with them on top of the restrictions already in place.

Kuressaare Hospital not overburdened yet, likely to change next week

03.04.20 ... While the workload at Kuressaare Hospital on the island of Saaremaa, which is not only treating coronavirus patients but has also suffered a bout of infection among its staff, is not particularly high right now, that is likely set to change soon, the hospital's treatment manager, Edward Laane, said.

Prime minister: Pandemic situation likely to worsen in coming weeks

03.04.20 ... While the government is preparing an exit strategy plan from the coronavirus emergency situation, this should not be taken to mean the peak has been reached, and in fact the situation is likely to get worse in the next few weeks, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) says. Ratas also said that no further restrictions, on movement on top of those already in place, were on the horizon.

Jürgen Ligi: Crisis needs finance minister, but we don't have one right now

03.04.20 ... Reform MP and former finance minister Jürgen Ligi has hit out at current incumbent Martin Helme (EKRE), saying that Estonia effectively does not have a finance minister at present. Ligi, who was finance minister at the time of the recession starting in 2008, said that the current crisis was not the same thing. He did however praise some aspects of the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, including its utilization of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) and Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa).

Estonian coronavirus hackathon transforms into global movement

02.04.20 ... The Hack the Crisis movement began in Estonia and has since reached over 40 countries and more than 100,000 participants. At the initiative of some enterprising Estonians, the IT community is expecting over one million people to participate in the Global Hack from April 9-12, a hackathon dedicated to creating solutions to help people stop the spread of the coronavirus and stimulate the economy.

Foreigners from third countries who lose their jobs must leave Estonia

02.04.20 ... The government on Thursday approved amendments to the Aliens Act and the Obligation to Leave and Prohibition on Entry Act aimed primarily at ensuring that foreigners from third countries (non-European Union countries) who have lost their jobs leave Estonia as soon as possible, the Ministry of the Interior announced.

Estonia joins EU countries 'deeply concerned' for rule of law

02.04.20 ... Estonia, together with the other Baltic states, joined the appeal of the 13 oldest member states of the European Union on Wednesday for the protection of democracy and the rule of law, which is seen as an indirect criticism of the recent developments in Hungary. Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) did not, however, consider the appeal successful as the 13 member states did not offer new member states the chance to participate.

Eesti Energia says oil shale supplies to last for several months

02.04.20 ... Eesti Energia has "several months" worth of oil shale in reserve if the company's mining operations have to be suspended after a worker tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), the CEO said on Thursday.

Culture minister wants ERR to take over Olympics broadcasts

02.04.20 ... Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) said on Thursday that he would support returning broadcasting rights of the Olympics to Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR).

Hospitals in Estonia to roll out faster coronavirus tests in coming weeks

02.04.20 ... In the coming weeks, nine hospitals in Estonia will roll out faster tests in their emergency medicine departments to detect the COVID-19 virus when hospitalizing patients; the tests are expected to provide results within an hour.

Photos: Seal pup spotted on Tallinn beach, people warned to keep away

02.04.20 ... A seal pup has been spotted on Inglirand Beach along Reidi Road in Tallinn whose photos are already making the rounds on social media.

State rejects request to support private media journalists' wages

02.04.20 ... The state does not intend to support the wages of private media journalists in difficulty during the emergency situation as requested by the Estonian Media Enterprises Association (Eesti Meediaett.

Opinion: All the reasons I like the coronavirus crisis

02.04.20 ... It has turned out by now that an email or a Skype call will suffice in place of lengthy meetings and the search for synergy in most cases, while people have rediscovered garden patches, manure spreading and even the basics of potato farming, Mirjam Mõttus ponders in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

41 employees of Kuressaare Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus

02.04.20 ... More than 40 members of staff at Kuressaare Hospital in Saaremaa, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in Estonia, had tested positive for the virus by Thursday afternoon, Postimees reported.

Reform MP: We like targeted supplementary budget items, which not all are

02.04.20 ... Reform MP Aivar Sõerd, who sits on the Riigikogu's finance committee, said the opposition supports urgent, well-targeted and temporary measures aimed at stimulating the economy in the supplementary budget, but opposes, or at least Sõerd himself opposes, cutting excise duties at present.

Supplementary budget bill: key points

02.04.20 ... The Estonian government submitted its supplementary budget bill to the Riigikogu on Thursday. ERR's Estonian-language online news portal has provided an overview of the bill's key points.

Riigikogu passes amendments to the Bank of Estonia Act

02.04.20 ... The Riigikogu has passed an amendment to the Bank of Estonia Act to concretize the basis on which the supervisory board of the Bank of Estonia is formed, as well as conditions members of the supervisory board need to meet and the maximum duration of their powers.

Supplementary budget includes €30 million crisis aid for local governments

02.04.20 ... The supplementary budget presented to the Riigikogu by the coalition government on Thursday includes €100 million to local government, of which €30 million is earmarked for crisis aid, which will be at local authorities' discretion as to how to use.

Erle Loonurm: Uncrowned kings of the coronavirus era

02.04.20 ... During a time when the press is busy ranking crisis time heroes and putting uncrowned kings on pedestals, we should think about how to keep the whole of society in good spirits to have energy and resources left for the aftermath of the crisis, Erle Loonurm writes.

2.6 million pieces of personal protective equipment arrives in Estonia

02.04.20 ... On Thursday, a joint Estonian-Latvian order of 2.6 million pieces of personal protective equipment arrived in Tallinn from Shanghai, China.
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