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Latest update on Covid restrictions

On the 19th of October the Government of the Republic of Estonia agreed upon new control and support measures to relieve the overwhelmed hospitals and better contain the epidemic spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. Additional control measures were established temporarily starting from Monday, 25th of October to 10th of January 2022. According to new restrictions the obligation to wear a mask became stricter and the access of unvaccinated adults to entertainment and culture establishments, as well as eating or drinking at restaurants and bars is now restricted.

The requirement of dispersal, hand disinfection and obligation to wear a mask becomes stricter

The requirement for dispersal mandates that strangers must be kept at a reasonable distance indoors for the purpose of containing the spread of the virus. The Estonian Government urges both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to work from home if possible. Hand disinfection is a must in public indoors.

Wearing a medical mask is mandatory for all people from the age of 12 at indoor premises where vaccination or recovery from the disease is not checked, starting from the 25th of October.

From 29th of October it is also mandatory to wear masks during organized activities where vaccination or recovery from the disease is checked. Masks must be worn in all public spaces where anyone can enter and where there are many people who do not come into contact with each other on a daily basis.

The obligation to wear a mask does not apply to children under the age of 12 or if wearing a mask is not reasonable for health or other valid reasons. In case a person has the recommendation from the doctor not to wear a mask, this person should be ready to present a medical certificate or a doctor’s statement, that wearing a mask is not recommended for health reasons. Personal identification document can also be asked in this case.

Only the certificates that prove vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 will remain effective as COVID certificates

Adults who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from the disease can no longer participate in organized activities where a COVID certificate is required. Certificates that prove the negative result of a PCR-test or a rapid antigen test will no longer be considered as COVID certificates, leaving only proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 as a valid option. From 1st of November, people in the age of 12-17 must also submit a COVID certificate to participate in organized activities, where a COVID certificate is required. As the exception they can submit also negative test certificate.

The COVID certificate must be presented for sport, training, youth work, hobby activities and education, refresher training and refresher courses; at sports competitions and sports and exercise events; in saunas, spas, water parks, and swimming pools; at public meetings and events, including in theatres and cinemas, at concerts (including in churches) and conferences; in museums and exhibition halls; for entertainment services; and for eating and drinking on site in catering establishments. The organizers are obliged to check the validity of the COVID certificates. In case of reasonable doubt, the person must be asked for an identification document.

Shops and service points remain open

Businesses must guarantee that people keep distance from each other on commercial and service premises. Shopping centers should also close the sitting and play areas on their premises in general use.

Both in shops and in various places where the service is provided (e.g., banks, post offices, beauty salons), a mask must be worn, and dispersal of people and hand disinfection must be provided. The service provider or trader has the right not to admit a person who refuses to wear a protective mask to the service area.

Presenting a COVID certificate is not mandatory in stores, including grocery stores and other convenience stores, pharmacies, providers of telecommunications or mobile repair services, and the provision of banking services, etc. If the shopping center is the location of different services (e.g., cinema, sports club or restaurant) that are subject to the COVID certification requirement, the certificate proving vaccination or recovery must be presented at these service points before participating in the activity.

Public events and activities must end no later than 11 p.m.

From 1st of November, there is a movement restriction in force in public indoor spaces between the hours of 23.00 and 06.00. The restriction does not apply to the opening hours of stores and service spaces of service providers, or to buying food for takeaway at catering establishments.

Nightclubs and clubs, bars and other entertainment and amusement establishments are mainly affected by the operating time limit. Doors must close cinemas, theaters and concert halls, museums, and exhibition halls for customers to spend time on site. The restriction also applies to water parks, spas, public saunas, swimming pools, etc. Sports competitions and events must also end at 11 p.m.

Please note that the pandemic situation in Estonia is changing rapidly and restrictions may also change rapidly, depending on how the Government of the Republic of Estonia assesses the pandemic situation.

Author: Ksenia Korolkova


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