Estonia: The Government imposes restrictions similar to Ida-Virumaa in Harju County and agreed on additional support measures

NordenBladet — The Government imposes extensive restrictions due to COVID-19 in Harju County and extends the measures already in place to prevent further spread of the coronavirus in Ida-Viru County. In addition, as of December 24, a 50 percent use of maximum capacity requirement for religious services will apply nationally. To compensate for the economic damage caused by the new restrictions, the members of the government also agreed on subsidies for the most affected economic sectors. The total amount of support amounts to EUR 23 million. The Government will issue separate orders for both restrictions and support measures.

“Considering the accelerated spread of the coronavirus in Tallinn and Harju County, the increasing occupancy of local hospitals and the spread of the coronavirus among hospital staff, we have to make difficult decisions to protect our medical system from overload and ensure access to medical care,” said Prime Minister Mr. Jüri Ratas. “Unfortunately, we see that the existing measures have not been enough to slow down the virus growth trend. Based on the opinion of the Scientific Council and the Estonian Health Board, the Government decided to impose more extensive restrictions in Harju County and Tallinn in order to break the chain of connections causing the spread of infection. To stop the spread of the virus, people of Estonia need to spend Christmas within a small family circle. In this way, we can show solidarity with society as a whole and contribute to stopping the spread of the coronavirus. ”

Restrictions applicable for Harju County and Ida-Viru County from December 28 to January 17.

It is not allowed to provide any entertainment services anywhere – casinos, bowling and billiard halls, adult clubs and premises of accommodation facilities. Accommodation establishments may continue to provide accommodation services.

All sales and service premises of catering companies must be closed to customers. Food takeaway and related delivery service are permitted. All sports facilities must be closed for visitors, including sports club, saunas, spas, swimming pools, water parks. Restrictions do not apply to professional athletes, including national championship teams, team members and team candidates. There is also no restriction for people with special needs.

It is not allowed to hold public meetings and events, including conferences, theatre performances, concerts, and indoor cinema viewings. Museums and exhibitions must also be closed to visitors. Up to 10 people can take part in public events and meetings outdoors.

Indoor youth work, hobby activities and informal education, further training, and continuous education, as well as sports and coaching activities are prohibited. All these activities are allowed outdoors for a group of up to ten people and a coach.

Kindergartens and childcare facilities will remain open, but guidelines issued by the Estonian Health Board and local government to prevent the spread of the virus must be followed.

50 percent use of maximum capacity restriction will apply to public religious services from December 24

A 50% use of maximum capacity ceiling will be applied to worship and religious services throughout Estonia in order to avoid the risk of the coronavirus spreading during the Christmas holidays. Masks must be worn indoors, disinfection requirements must be met and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus must be followed.

Restrictions on educational activities for general education schools will remain in place nationally until the end of the school holidays, January 10. (incl.)

The Government extended restrictions on educational activities until January 10, 2021 (incl.). The extension of restrictions affects general education schools, vocational training institutions, universities of applied sciences, and universities. Those schools where the break ends before January 10, Years 1 to 4 may return to school for classes. The restrictions, which will come into force after January 10, will be discussed by the Government at a cabinet meeting next week.

The Government Communication Office publishes the order and its explanatory memorandum on the website kriis.ee.

In addition, the Government also discussed sector-based compensations for restrictions that significantly affect economic life in Harju County and compensations arising from the extension of restrictions in Ida-Viru County. Compensation measures for businesses in Harju County are aimed for accommodation, catering, entertainment (casinos) services, as well as culture, sports, private education, and hobby activities. The measures total EUR 23 million. The content of the measures is the compensation for taxes on labour according to the employment data in the county, as well as the subsidies directed through the field of culture and education.

 



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