From tomorrow, the general obligation to wear a mask is replaced with a recommendation to wear a mask

01.06.2021 | 15:07

Stenbock House, 1 June 2021 – According to the decision of the Government, the general obligation to wear a mask will end tomorrow and be replaced with a recommendation to wear a mask in enclosed and crowded indoor spaces. The Health Board retains the right to impose an obligation to wear a mask as necessary, and this right also remains with employers.
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“Thanks to the efforts of the Estonian people in fighting the coronavirus and actively vaccinating, the infection rates have fallen nicely,” said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. “This provides an opportunity to make the most visible requirement of the coronavirus era – wearing a mask – something that is no longer mandatory and is instead recommended. From Wednesday, wearing a mask indoors is therefore no longer an obligation. At the same time, I would like to remind everyone that the coronavirus has not disappeared, so we recommend that you continue to wear a mask in enclosed and crowded places and, of course, when the Health Board or the employer requires you to wear a mask in certain situations.”

The state-wide obligation to wear a mask will end in all public indoor spaces, nursing homes, and educational institutions where it has been in force thus far. This applies to shops, service, education, culture, and sports facilities, churches, entertainment venues, etc. Wearing a mask or covering your mouth and nose is still recommended in enclosed and crowded places with poor ventilation and places where keeping distance from strangers is not possible, such as public transport.

Depending on the epidemiological situation, the Health Board reserves the right to require masks to be worn at specific locations or events, and the employer may require employees or company customers to wear masks to ensure a safe environment. As the risk of the spread of coronavirus in Estonia has not passed, it is still recommended to keep a distance between people and to wash and disinfect hands.

In addition to the abolition of a general obligation to wear a mask, the obligation to wear a mask is not generally required from someone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient – it will remain the responsibility of the person if required by the Health Board. The obligation enforced on a close contact to wear a mask will not be extended as the number of people vaccinated against coronavirus increases. Given that the competence of the Health Board includes the supervision of close contacts, the obligation to wear a mask can be approached on an individual basis due to the current infection indicators.

The Science Council advising the Government also considers the obligation to wear a mask no longer being necessary in the former extent as a measure to prevent the spread of the infection.

The Government will also not extend the night-time ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages, which ended on 31 May.

The Government Communication Unit will publish the order and the explanatory memorandum on the website kriis.ee.

Government Communication Unit

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