COVID-19 crisis exit strategy in Estonia is divided into three stages. Restrictions will be lifted in stages when certain conditions are met and if the agreed metrics allow it. Currently, Estonia is in the last stage – returning to everyday life – where we can slowly roll back the restrictions that were imposed. The Estonian Government has taken the following measures:
- No more than two people are legally allowed to gather inside or outside, except for families and those performing public duties. All people need to maintain two meters of distance from one another in public spaces. This is referred to as the “2+2” distancing requirement.
- All public cafes and restaurants must enforce social distancing guidelines and close no later than 10 pm each evening.
- Bars, pool halls, clubs, bowling alleys, spas, and cinemas are still closed.
- Outdoor exercise areas are opened on May 2 if the proprietor guarantees disinfection of equipment every four hours. The Tallinn City Government will begin progressively opening outdoor gyms, stadiums, playgrounds, skate parks, and dog walking areas from May 11.
- Outdoor gyms and playgrounds will be fully disinfected and opened over the following week.
- Beginning May 2, adult open-air sports activities and training sessions resumed for groups of ten or less. Beginning May 5, adult sports teams resumed indoor training. The “2+2” distancing requirements must be followed, disinfectants must be available for use, and all sports equipment must be regularly disinfected.
- Beginning May 2, open air museums and outdoor spaces of museums are opened for visitors. Visitors must continue to adhere to the “2+2” distancing requirements and disinfectants must be available for use.
- Beginning May 10, public church services and other religious services may resume as long as the “2+2” social distancing requirements are followed and disinfectants are available for use.
- Beginning May 11, shopping centers may reopen shops, as well as service points, restaurants, and catering establishments. The “2+2” social distancing requirements must be maintained and disinfectants must be readily available for use by consumers and staff. Leisure facilities within shopping centers, including cinemas, bowling alleys, children’s playrooms, and casinos, will remain closed.
- Beginning May 11, indoor museums may reopen to the public provided they can maintain the “2+2” social distancing requirements. Interactive exhibits, such as touch screens, will not be permitted.
- All schools are closed. Primary schools, high schools, and universities are using distance learning. Kindergartens may remain open based on local government decisions. Beginning May 15, in-person learning may resume in groups of no more than 10 students plus one instructor. Tallinn public schools will be limited to contact groups with a maximum of five students. The “2+2” distancing requirements must be maintained.
- Beginning May 18, gyms, fitness clubs, and swimming pools will reopen with social distancing measures in place.
- The coronavirus has forced event organizers to invent new solutions and provide so-called hybrid services to survive.
- Few event organisers announced that their events will take place this summer in accordance with the Estonian government’s decision to allow public events to take place from 1 of July. Events will be adjusted according to the agreed restrictions that set the maximum attendance for open-air events at 1,000, and attendance for indoor events at 500. The same restrictions will apply to conferences and other city programmes. Smaller events are allowed from May 18 till June 1 with the maximum attendance for open-air events at 100, and attendance for indoor events at 10 people. From June 1 allowed events with maximum attendance for open-air events at 100, and attendance for indoor events at 50 people.
Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian free movement area
As of May 15 free movement across the Baltic States will be restored for Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian residents and other persons legally staying in these countries. The temporarily restored border control and surveillance of the state borders at the border between Estonia and Latvia will cease. People arriving from Latvia and Lithuania to Estonia will not have to stay at home for 14 days, unless they have arrived from outside the Baltic States. Opening of the borders and the conditions associated with the free movement of persons legally staying in the Baltic States will be specified in the joint agreement between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the near future.
At the same time, people crossing the border must continue to comply with the orders issued to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as the obligation to wear masks where necessary, or observance of 2-by-2 rule, according to which no more than 2 persons can be together in the public space, keeping at least 2-metres distance from other people. Since the orders may vary from country to country, the relevant information will be made available specifically to people crossing the state borders.
Access to Finland
As of May 14th, the need to for 14-day mandatory stay home won’t apply to those with Finnish citizenship, residence permit, or whose permanent place of residence is in Finland (according to population register) and who travel to Estonia for work, study or unavoidable family-related reasons.
PS! Although movement restrictions are lifted for the abovementioned cases, it is recommended that people arriving to Estonia should avoid contacts with other people within two weeks, (except going to work or other unavoidable contacts).
Additional requirements are applied on ships and ports:
From May 14 to 19 voluntary testing for coronavirus will be carried out on ships travelling between Estonia and Finland. The aim is to reduce the possible spread of the virus to Estonia. The testing order is developed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. At the Finnish border, random border controls are still carried out to identify the person crossing the border and the purpose of their journey.
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