Estonia renews requirement to wear face masks on public transport / Diena

As Prime Minister Kaja Kallas announced in a press conference on Thursday, face masks will also have to be worn by vaccinated, ill and tested passengers, except for children under the age of 12, as it is not possible to check whether a person has been vaccinated on public transport.

At the same time, it has been decided that from August 9, up to 50 people will be able to participate in indoor events, but up to 100 people in the open air. If this number of participants is exceeded, the organizers must ensure that the Covid-19 certificates of all participants are checked.

Restrictions will apply to concerts, performances, screenings, conferences, sports and entertainment events, services, museum and exhibition visits and interest education, swimming pools, saunas, spas and restaurants, and catering establishments, but will not affect trade and service companies, unless distance and hygiene requirements will be ensured.

Up to 6,000 people indoors and up to 12,000 people outdoors will be allowed to take part in events where all participants have been vaccinated against Covid-19, have contracted the disease or may show negative test results, but this means that organizers will have to check the validity of all participants’ certificates. and, in case of suspicion, the identity of the bearer of the document must also be verified.

Restrictions on the operation of schools will be discussed by the government before the start of the new school year.

Due to the fact that the level of immunization of adolescents in Estonia is not very high, certificates will not be required for children under 18 years of age, however, over time this requirement will be extended to children over 12 years of age, but the government will return to this later.

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According to Kallas, when reviewing the restrictions, however, it must be taken into account that many Estonians are now vaccinated, so the risks to the health care system are different from those that existed in the spring.

At a meeting on Thursday, the Estonian government reportedly found that the level of risk of the spread of coronavirus in the country had increased from medium to high.

In April, Estonia introduced a system according to which there are four levels of risk of spreading coronavirus – low, medium, high and very high. The level of risk takes into account the daily average number of infections and deaths, the proportion of positive tests, the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals, the proportion of cases where the source of infection cannot be traced, and other factors.

On 8 June, the risk of coronavirus spread in Estonia was reduced from high to medium. The risk level was reduced to low on 22 June and raised to medium on 15 July.

In mid-July, the Estonian Department of Health announced that the increase in the number of infections was due to the spread of the delta variant of the virus, and the third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic had begun in the country.

The 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population, estimated by the Estonian Department of Health, is currently 107.83. Two weeks ago it was 45.

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