The government will gradually ease COVID-19 restrictions from 26 April

20.04.2021 | 01:09

Stenbock House, 20 April 2021 – At today’s cabinet meeting, the members of the government approved the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Restrictions on outdoor sports, training, and hobby education will be the first to be relaxed from 26 April. From 3 May, shops and general education schools will be partially opened and people will also be allowed to dine on the outdoor terraces of catering establishments, taking into account the opening hours and restrictions on movement and distancing. If the epidemiological situation allows, the restrictions will be further reduced in May.
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The 2 + 2 rule and the obligation to wear a mask remain applicable in public indoor spaces.

Today, the government adopted decisions in principle, the corresponding order is planned to be approved on Thursday.

According to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, the falling infection rate allows the restrictions to be gradually eased, but we must remember that the danger is not over. “Thank you to everyone who has carefully followed the restrictions – thanks to you, the numbers are decreasing and it is possible to start reopening the society step by step. However, we must carefully consider any alleviation, because the virus is still here. I remind everyone that we must remain careful even when the weather warms up. We must be especially careful during school holidays – previous experience has shown that the infection rate increases after school holidays. We are monitoring the situation closely,” said Kallas.

Education

From 3 May, contact learning is allowed for students in grades 1–4 and students with special educational needs. The government will discuss the possibility of contact learning for the remaining school levels in the future.


Indoor and outdoor sports, training, youth work, recreational activities and hobby education, refresher training and refresher courses

From 3 May, all these activities can be carried out indoors in accordance with the 2 + 2 rule, which means that up to two people can train together and they must be at least two metres away from others. Among other things, this means that doubles are allowed, such as tennis. Training in swimming pools is also allowed under the same conditions. When carrying out the activities, the 25% occupancy requirement must be taken into account. Group training is not allowed.

From 26 April, all these activities can be carried out outdoors in groups of up to 10 members.

All group restrictions include a supervisor, and if there is more than one group, they must not come into contact with each other. The group restriction does not apply to students of the same class in contact learning. The restriction does also not apply to the existing exceptions, i.e. professional athletes, members and candidates of the national team, first- and second-division teams, and activities related to the country’s military defence and internal security.

Trade and service establishments

From 3 May, all stores can open their doors for customers while taking the 2 + 2 rule and the 25% occupancy requirement into account.

Existing restrictions for service facilities will not change, which means that they may be open if the 2 + 2 rule and the 25% occupancy requirement are complied with.

Catering establishments

From 3 May, people can dine in the outdoor areas of catering establishments until 9 p.m. The 50% occupancy requirement must be taken into account and up to 10 people can sit at the same table. Customers are still not allowed to eat and drink indoors in the sales and service halls of catering establishments. Take-away sale of food is allowed.

Religious services, museums, exhibition halls, and outdoor public events and meetings

From 3 May, people can visit indoor museums and exhibition halls, taking into account the 2 + 2 rule and the 25% occupancy restriction. Museums and exhibition halls must be closed at 7 p.m. Religious services and other public religion-related services may be organised subject to the same 2 + 2 rule, occupancy restriction, and closing time.

All other indoor public events, both cultural and entertainment events, will be subject to the current restrictions. The restrictions also extend to spas, swimming pools, and saunas. Sports and training are allowed there in accordance with the conditions prescribed for the sport.

From 3 May, public meetings and religious services as well as all other public outdoor events in the field of culture and entertainment can be attended by a maximum of 150 people. People must be in groups of up to 10 members that do not come into contact with each other. All events must end by 9 p.m.

Sports competitions and sports and fitness events

From 3 May, outdoor sports competitions and fitness events are allowed for a maximum of 150 people who must be in groups of up to 10 (including the supervisor) that do not come into contact with each other. The event must end by 9 p.m. the latest.

From 3 May, the limit for participants in the highest divisions of sports, including the second division, will be relaxed, which means that up to 100 people, including staff, can take part in indoor competitions and up to 200 people in outdoor competitions. Spectators are prohibited in all competitions. There are no restrictions on the time of competitions of the highest divisions of sports.

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