Crisis medical chief Arkadi Popov named Citizen of the Year 2020

24.11.20 NEWS ... Chief medical officer at the Health Board Arkadi Popov was named Citizen of the Year 2020 on Tuesday at a Citizen's Day recognition event by Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa).

Andrei Korobeinik returns to Riigikogu following Ott promotion to minister

24.11.20 NEWS ... Center Party MP Andrei Korobeinik will retain his Riigikogu seat after all, following the appointment of Anneli Ott (Center) to the post of Minister for Public Administration.

White Christmas unlikely this year

24.11.20 NEWS ... 2020 is, perhaps fittingly, unlikely to be crowned with a white Christmas, according to one expert.

Health Board critical of stores advertising 'Black Friday' sales

24.11.20 NEWS ... The Health Board has said it is ready to fine businesses advertising "Black Friday" (Must Reede) sales taking place in their stores rather than online. The agency believes they are acting irresponsibly.

Legal expert: Fining for not wearing a mask has no legal grounds

24.11.20 NEWS ... Lawyer and former justice chancellor Allar Jõks says that in his opinion, fining individuals for not wearing a face-mask in public areas is not feasible, though added that he would don such a covering in any case.

Head of scientific council: Vaccines will not make the virus disappear

24.11.20 NEWS ... While notifications of coronavirus vaccines in development are encouraging, head of the government's scientific council Irja Lutsar says there is no reason to believe vaccines will make the pandemic disappear right away.

Domestic violence trial of ex-minister Marti Kuusik starts

24.11.20 NEWS ... The trial of former minister of foreign trade and IT Marti Kuusik, who is accused of domestic violence, started in the Rakvere courthouse of the Viru County Court.

University of Tartu going to remote learning after rise in COVID-19 cases

24.11.20 NEWS ... The University of Tartu is to switch to remote teaching from Tuesday, in response to growing COVID-19 numbers.

Police initiate proceedings against former education minister over car use

24.11.20 NEWS ... The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has initiated proceedings against former education minister Mailis Res (Center) over the alleged misuse of a ministry car.

Government to give two reusable masks to people on low incomes

24.11.20 NEWS ... The government will issue two reusable facemasks to people on low incomes so they can follow the new nationwide face-covering restrictions introduced on Tuesday. Approximately, 40,000 masks will be handed out.

Prosecutor's Office will not open proceedings against Õhtuleht journalists

24.11.20 NEWS ... The Prosecutor's Office will not initiate criminal proceedings against journalists from newspaper Õhtuleht after they collected data on the use of former Ministry of Education and Research's Maili Reps' (Center) official car.

Mandatory mask-wearing compliance monitoring, fining still unclear

24.11.20 NEWS ... When the fine for not wearing a mask in a situation which mandates it has been announced, the question of actually issuing the fines and monitoring compliance with the restrictions remains. The Health Board (Terviseamet) has no plans to go out on patrols due to its workload, but the police can't fine the public for that infringement, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Prime minister: Justice minister did not attack free press

24.11.20 NEWS ... In response to the Estonian Association of Media Enterprises' letter regarding statements made by Minister of Justice Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) toward Õhtuleht journalists covering the Mailis Reps scandal, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said that he stands for free press in Estonia and that Aeg did not mean it as an attack.

Tallinn's Song Festival Grounds to become winter 'Dreamland'

24.11.20 NEWS ... More than 30 installations will light up Tallinn's Song Festival Grounds this winter as part of the "Dreamland" light festival (Valgusfestival Võlumaa) which opens on December 4.

Health Board: 204 new cases of coronavirus diagnosed, two deaths

24.11.20 NEWS ... During the last 24 hours, two people died and 204 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were recorded across Estonia, data from the Health Board (Terviseamet) shows.

EDF considers expanding quarantine facilities as COVID-19 rates rise

24.11.20 NEWS ... The Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) is looking at expanding its coronavirus quarantining facilities amid growing numbers among conscripts and others.

Public administration minister: Good thing I am from far corner of Estonia

24.11.20 NEWS ... Likely the next minister of public administration, Center Party MP Anneli Ott told ERR in an interview on Tuesday that she considers her greatest strength to be her experience working in regional politics.

Healthcare waiting lists are shorter compared with last year

24.11.20 NEWS ... Compared with last year, healthcare waiting lists have become shorter despite the COVID-19 pandemic.This is largely due to nurses and doctors working harder than before, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Jaak Aab to replace Mailis Reps as education minister

24.11.20 NEWS ... Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) will become the new minister of education replacing Mailis Reps who stepped down last week, the Center Party has proposed. Anneli Ott, member of the Riigikogu's European Union Affairs Committee, will be appointed as the new minister of public administration.

Diesel price rises above one euro per liter

24.11.20 NEWS ... Diesel prices in Estonia have risen above the one-euro-per-liter mark for the first time since spring.

Social minister: Number of hospitalized patients could exceed 200 this week

24.11.20 NEWS ... Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) told ERR that the number of patients receiving treatment in hospital is certainly set to exceed 200 at some point in the near future and if it were to exceed 300, the situation in hospitals would turn critical.

Education ministry: High schools in remote learning best option for society

24.11.20 NEWS ... Starting Monday, all high school classes in Tallinn, Harju County and Ida-Viru County have to turn to remote learning until January 10, as that is the least bothersome option for society, Ministry of Education and Research Secretary-General Mart Laidmets said.

Four years later, what the papers said on Ratas becoming prime minister

24.11.20 NEWS ... Monday saw the fourth anniversary of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) entering office, following a coup by leaders of the two junior coalition, Isamaa (then IRL) and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) to exchange the Reform Party, and with it Taavi Rõivas as premier, for the Center Party and Ratas. The leading dailies at the time noted the continuity in the new cabinet as much as the change that Center brought, also pondering whether Center had changed itself sufficiently to be a party of national government.

Prices of electricity packages vary from seller to seller

24.11.20 NEWS ... Seven sellers offer electricity to consumers across Estonia. According to data from Go OÜ, the operator of comparing websites and, the price difference between the most expensive and cheapest package is €26 for variable packages and €62 for fixed packages.

Easing of quarantine rules contributing to shorter COVID-19 hospital stays

24.11.20 NEWS ... Changing coronavirus restrictions and quarantine requirements and patients suffering from milder episodes of the coronavirus are behind falling lengths in hospitalization stays, ERR's online news in Estonian finds. Hospitals are sometimes turning patients away who have tested positive for the virus, meaning their case gets recorded in the general figures and not in those relating to hospitals.

Coronavirus round-up: November 16-22

23.11.20 NEWS ... More than 2,000 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were diagnosed in Estonia last week - a new record high. Additionally, more than 400 cases were diagnosed on a single day for the first time.

Maintenance to cause possible disruptions of Smart-ID, Mobile-ID

23.11.20 NEWS ... SK ID Solutions said on Monday that it will be performing scheduled maintenance on its IT infrastructure on the night between November 26 and 27, as a result of which there might be disruptions in services.

Tallinn's Old Town skating rink opens for 15th season

23.11.20 NEWS ... On Monday morning, school children from Tallinn's City Center district were the first people to skate on the ice rink on Harju Street which opened for its 15th season.

EU Commission launches infringement procedure over media services directive

23.11.20 NEWS ... The European Commission has launched infringement procedures against 23 member states, including Estonia, for failing to transpose the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive into national legislation.

Coronavirus restrictions apply to cinemas, theaters from November 28

23.11.20 NEWS ... From November 28, additional restrictions will apply in theaters, cinema and concert halls. In Harju and Ida-Viru Counties a 50 percent occupancy rate is allowed while in other counties across Estonia up to 400 people can be in attendance.

New restrictions: Government agrees obligatory mask rules, extends 2+2

23.11.20 NEWS ... New restrictions making it obligatory to wear a mask or face-covering in public indoor spaces, extending the 2+2 rule and reducing the maximum number of participants in public events were agreed by the government at an e-session on Monday.

Tallinn to host over 300 light installations to illuminate festive season

23.11.20 NEWS ... More than 300 light installations will be installed across Tallinn this winter to light up the festive season. There will also be a "mini-festival" on the first weekend of December.

Electoral Committee: Face verification idea not bad, but expensive

23.11.20 NEWS ... The chairman of the National Electoral Committee Oliver Kask does not consider the idea proposed by IT minister Raul Siem (EKRE) to use face identification for electronic voter verification a bad one, but it would make the system much more expensive. Kask said a mobile phone voting option would be cheaper.

Estonian social affairs minister establishes personalized medicine council

23.11.20 NEWS ... Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) on Friday formed the personalized medicine council, the aim of which is to compile a comprehensive long-term program for the development of personalized medicine in Estonia.

Fat Margaret wins Europe-wide digital cultural heritage award

23.11.20 NEWS ... The Estonian Maritime Museum has been awarded the Heritage in Motion 'Best Achievement Award' for its digital and audiovisual solutions at Tallinn's Fat Margaret permanent exhibition "Towering Tales of the Sea".

Residence permit appointments for 2021 can now be booked online

23.11.20 NEWS ... From Monday (November 23), it is possible to reserve a time slot in December 2020 and January 2021 to submit an application for a residence permit for the purpose of work based on of the immigration quota for 2021.

Kaljulaid's OECD secretary general hearing to take place on December 11

23.11.20 NEWS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid's interview for secretary general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will take place next month and the winner will be announced in March.

Hunt's return from COVID-19 list does not push Bengals to victory

23.11.20 NEWS ... Estonian NFL player Margus Hunt, who was placed on his home team Cincinnati Bengals' COVID-19 list on November 11, made his return to action on Sunday in a 9:20 loss against the Washington Football Team.

EKRE's Poolamets elected chairman of Constitutional Committee

23.11.20 NEWS ... Anti Poolamets was elected as the new chairman of the Constitutional Committee on Monday. The job became after Alar Laneman (EKRE) replaced Mart Helme as minister of the interior instead.

Constitutional committee votes marriage referendum off agenda

23.11.20 NEWS ... The Constitutional Committee (põhiseaduskomisjon) of the Riigikogu voted against the draft marriage referendum bill on Monday, removing it from the agenda. The chairman of Isamaa said committee member Siim Kiisler, who voted against holding a referendum, will temporarily be replaced so the bill can be put to a vote again.

Culture recommendations: November 23-29

23.11.20 NEWS ... What is there to do in Estonia this week? The Estonian Institute's website and Culture Step program has some recommendations for you.

Media criticizes justice minister's wish to investigate journalists

23.11.20 NEWS ... In a public letter sent to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), the Estonian Association of Media Enterprises criticized the wish of Minister of Justice Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) to investigate the activities of journalists in investigating the use of ministry cars by Mailis Reps, who last week stepped down as minister of education and research.

Tallinn City Center expat chat: Andrea from Paraguay

23.11.20 NEWS ... This interview is first of a series carried out by Svetlana Štšur project manager of "Tallinn City Center New Arrivals Project" run by Tallinn City Center (Kesklinn) Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Gallery: Polar bear Rasputin, the newest resident of Tallinn Zoo

23.11.20 NEWS ... On Friday, Tallinn Zoo received their newest resident - male polar bear Rasputin. Rasputin arrived in Tallinn from the Yorkshire Wildlife Park as part of an EZEA program to increase polar bear numbers worldwide.

Police to monitor mask-wearing compliance

23.11.20 NEWS ... Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) confirmed that on Monday (November 23) the obligation to cover your mouth and nose in public and restrictions on participants of public events will be agreed by the government. The police will be responsible for making sure the rules are followed.

City government, Health Board advise Tartu residents to be careful

23.11.20 NEWS ... Tartu City Government (Tartu Linnavalitsus) and the southern district of the Health Board (Terviseamet) are calling on Tartu residents to be careful and behave responsibly after a recent rise in new coronavirus cases.

Health Board: 232 new COVID-19 cases discovered, four deaths

23.11.20 NEWS ... 232 new coronavirus cases have been found in Estonia in the past 24 hours, the Health Board (Terviseamet) says. Four deaths were also recorded.

Kanepi comes out on top in Las Palmas, wins third ITF tournament this year

23.11.20 NEWS ... Estonia's second-best ranked tennis player in the world, Kaia Kanepi (WTA 101st), was victorious at an International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament held in Las Palmas, Spain, on Sunday, winning her third consecutive tournament in two months.

False positives complicate returning to work for healed COVID-19 patients

23.11.20 NEWS ... Healed coronavirus patients could experience difficulties returning to work as employers are required to demand a proof of negative testing.Family physicians however say a healed patient is no longer infectious, even if they test positive going forward.

Hospitals have capacity to treat 400 COVID-19 patients in intensive care

23.11.20 NEWS ... There are approximately 400 hospital beds with respirators which can be used for patients with coronavirus if needed, the Ministry of Social Affairs has said. On Sunday, 146 people were being treated in hospital with seven patients in intensive care.

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