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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The government eases restrictions in the fields of education, culture, and sports

5. May 2020 - 0:00

Tallinn, Stenbock House, 5 May 2020 – At today’s e-session, the government approved the decision to reopen contact learning, open-air museums, and exhibition facilities under special conditions, and allow for more training opportunities for professional athletes. Religious services can also be conducted again.

The decision to ease some restrictions is based on the assessment on the prevalence of the COVID-19 infection in Estonia made by the Scientific Advisory Board. All cases of easing the restrictions may only be implemented if the risk of infection is managed with special conditions.

PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

As of today, teams of professional adult athletes may begin training again, indoors and outdoors. Disinfectants must be available. Precise requirements for training without the risk of being infected with COVID-19 are laid down by the Ministry of Culture.

CULTURE

As of May 11, museums and exhibition halls may reopen if they guarantee compliance with the special requirements. Exhibitions in open-air museums and outside premises of museums will also be opened for visitors.

Museums and exhibition areas may open their indoor premises if they only allow visitors in groups of up to 10 people. Exceptions apply to families. Visitors must follow the 2 + 2 rule and have access to disinfectants; all surfaces that are frequently touched by visitors must be wet-cleaned.

People in high-risk groups are advised to cover their mouths and noses in museums or exhibition halls.

Certain measures must be implemented for interactive exhibits to guarantee their use without a risk of catching the COVID-19 infection. Alternatively, interactive exhibits may remain closed.

Because the virus may spread from contaminated surfaces, it is forbidden to hand out pamphlets. It is also not allowed to organise creative activities or workshops using joint equipment.

The Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with pertinent companies and the Health Board, prepared instructions for mandatory minimum requirements and additional recommendations.

EDUCATION

As of 15 May, regular educational activities may be continued in schools under special conditions. This applies for schools of general education, vocational education, higher education, further education, hobby and recreational activity schools, and open youth centres.

During the time when emergency restrictions are being eased, educational activities may be organised on school premises for groups of up to 10 people. The restriction does not apply to exams, state examinations, and vocational examinations if they are organised in large rooms, such as in assembly halls, gyms, or larger auditoriums.

Public utilities must be constantly disinfected and school rooms frequently ventilated if educational activities are resumed. Students, practitioners, and organisers of educational activities must do everything in their power to prevent the COVID-19 infection from spreading.

Protective masks are not mandatory. Practitioners of recreational activities, teachers, academic employees who organise higher education, and students are still strongly advised to wear masks and use other personal protective equipment if they are in a risk group.

Driver education

As of today, driving schools are allowed to conduct driving lessons for drivers of motorised vehicles and cars, and transporters of dangerous goods, if they comply with the special requirements.

Pursuant to the special requirements, only an instructor and a student without symptoms of the COVID-19 infection are allowed to participate in driving lessons. Disinfectants must be available in every vehicle. Organisers of driving lessons must clean all surfaces that a student touched after each lesson.

Students and instructors may wear personal protective equipment of individual preference, for example, a protective mask or a visor.

RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS

As of 10 May, public religious services and other public religious activities may be carried out under special circumstances. People must follow the 2 + 2 rule and disinfectants must be available.

The order of the Government of the Republic No 77 is to be published by mass media immediately, without any alterations, and free of charge. A relevant official notice will be sent out.

Order: https://www.valitsus.ee/sites/default/files/news-related-files/vv_korral... (PDF) (PDF) (PDF)

Explanatory memorandum: https://www.valitsus.ee/sites/default/files/news-related-files/sk_77_05.... (PDF) (PDF) (PDF)