The government at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday approved gradual relaxing of restrictions, spokespeople for the government said. The first restrictions to be relaxed from April 26 are those imposed on outdoor exercising and training activities and hobby education. From May 3, general education schools will partially open and the provision of service on catering establishments’ outdoor terraces will also become permitted in accordance with restrictions on opening times, movement and occupancy. Restrictions will be relaxed further in May if the epidemiological situation permits.
In public indoor spaces the 2+2 rule and mask obligation will remain in effect.
The government made decisions in principle on Tuesday and is planning to approve the corresponding order on Thursday.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that while the infection rate permits gradually relaxing restrictions, it must be kept in mind that the risk has not been eliminated.
“I want to thank everyone who has been carefully following the restrictions – thanks to you the numbers are declining and we can start reopening society step by step. Each alleviation must be weighed in depth, however, as the virus is still around us. I want to urge everyone to remain cautious also when the weather gets warmer – this also concerns the school break. Previous experience shows that the infection rate increases after school breaks. We are carefully monitoring the situation,” Kallas said.
From May 3, children of grades 1-4 and students with special educational needs will be permitted to resume contact learning. Whether or not other school levels will be permitted to follow suit will be discussed by the government in the future.
From May 3, exercising and training as well as conducting hobby education, recreational activities, refresher training and continuing education will become permitted in indoor spaces in accordance with the 2+2 rule. That means that up to two people will be permitted to exercise together and they must keep a distance of at least 2 meters from other people.
In individual sports, such as tennis, doubles matches are also permitted. Swimming practice is also permitted under the same conditions. During the activities, room occupancy must not exceed 25 percent. Exercise classes for groups remain prohibited.
All said activities can be carried out in groups of up to 10 people, including the instructor, in outdoor environments from April 26. The groups must not come into contact with one another.
The restriction on groups does not apply to student groups in the same grade, to professional athletes, members and candidates of Estonian adult and youth teams and to players of master league teams and to activities relating to national military defense and internal security.
All stores will be permitted to open to customers from May 3 in accordance with the 2+2 rule and the 25-percent cap on room occupancy.
As to service companies, the currently valid restrictions remain in place – said businesses may remain open if they follow the 2+2 rule and 25-percent cap on room occupancy.
Catering establishments’ outdoor areas will be permitted to open to customers until 9 p.m. starting from May 3. A 50-percent cap is to be imposed on area occupancy and the number of patrons in one table must not exceed 10. The provision of service to customers will remain prohibited in indoor sales and service areas. Selling food for takeaway remains permitted.
Visiting indoor museums and exhibitions will be permitted from May 3 in accordance with the 2+2 rule and the 25-percent cap on room occupancy. Said facilities must close at 7 p.m. The same conditions apply to public religious services.
All other public indoor cultural and entertainment events will continue to be subject to the currently valid restrictions. The restrictions imposed on spas, pools and saunas will be prolonged; however, exercising and training in said facilities will be permitted under the same conditions as those pertaining to other sports.
Starting from May 3, public outdoor meetings, religious services and other cultural and entertainment events will be permitted for up to 150 people. People must be divided into groups of up to ten and the groups must not come into contact with one another. All events must end at 9 p.m. at the latest.
Outdoor sports and exercise events for up to 150 people will also be permitted from May 3. Participants in said events must be in groups of up to 10 people, including the instructor, and the groups must not come into contact with one another. All events must end at 9 p.m. at the latest.
Starting from May 3, the cap on the number of participants in professional sport competitions, including those in master league sports, will be increased to 100 people indoors, including staff, and to 200 people outdoors. No spectators are allowed. No time restrictions will be imposed on professional sport competitions.