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Measures and restrictions necessary for preventing the spread of COVID-19

Issuer:Government
Type:order
In force from:12.12.2020
In force until:17.12.2020
Translation published:14.12.2020

Measures and restrictions necessary for preventing the spread of COVID-19
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 - entry into force 24.11.2020]

Passed 19.08.2020 No. 282
RT III, 19.08.2020, 1
Entry into force 19.08.2020, partially 01.09.2020

Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

PassedPublishedEntry into force
28.08.2020RT III, 28.08.2020, 328.08.2020, partially 01.09.2020
03.09.2020RT III, 04.09.2020, 104.09.2020
11.09.2020RT III, 14.09.2020, 114.09.2020
24.09.2020RT III, 24.09.2020, 329.09.2020
26.09.2020RT III, 26.09.2020, 128.09.2020
29.09.2020RT III, 29.09.2020, 929.09.2020
09.10.2020RT III, 09.10.2020, 112.10.2020
15.10.2020RT III, 15.10.2020, 219.10.2020
29.10.2020RT III, 29.10.2020, 230.10.2020
12.11.2020RT III, 12.11.2020, 516.11.2020
23.11.2020RT III, 23.11.2020, 124.11.2020, partially 28.11.2020
03.12.2020RT III, 03.12.2020, 105.12.2020
04.12.2020RT III, 04.12.2020, 305.12.2020
10.12.2020RT III, 10.12.2020, 112.12.2020

Under the preamble of § 28 (2) and under § 28 (6) of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act and considering § 28 (2) 2), § 28 (5) 2) and 3) and § 28 (8) of the same, the following restrictions are imposed:
[RT III, 10.12.2020, 1 - entry into force 12.12.2020]

1. A person who has crossed the state border for the purpose of entering Estonia shall remain in their place of residence or permanent place of stay for 10 calendar days after arrival in Estonia.
[RT III, 29.10.2020, 2 – entry into force 30.10.2020]

2. The 10-calendar-day restriction referred to in clause 1 does not apply to a person if:
[RT III, 29.10.2020, 2 – entry into force 30.10.2020]
1) promptly after arrival in Estonia the person takes an initial test for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease and the results of that test come back negative; and
2) no earlier than on the seventh day after finding out the results of the initial test the person takes a second test and the results of that test also come back negative or a physician declares the person not to be contagious.
[RT III, 19.08.2020, 1 – entry into force 01.09.2020]

3. A person referred to in clause 1 and in sub-clause 1) of clause 2 may leave their place of residence or permanent place of stay provided the person complies with measures imposed by the Government of the Republic or the Health Board for preventing the possible spread of the communicable disease and takes all possible measures for preventing the spread of the communicable disease and the following circumstances occur:
1) the person is given an order by a health care professional or a police officer to leave their place of residence or permanent place of stay;
2) the person leaves their place of residence or permanent place of stay upon referral by a health care professional to receive health services or in the event of an emergency that puts the person’s life of health at risk;
3) the person performs urgent and inevitably necessary duties by a decision of their employer or attends an urgent family occasion and after arrival in the country the person has taken at least one test for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease, the results of which came back negative;
[RT III, 28.08.2020, 3 – entry into force 01.09.2020]
4) the person is getting the everyday essentials near their place of residence or place of stay because it is otherwise impossible;
5) the person is outdoors and completely avoids contact with other persons;
6) the person has signed a statement of compliance with instructions issued by the Health Board and applicable requirements, thereby confirming their obligation to comply with the above requirements.

4. The provisions of clauses 1 and 2 do not apply to asymptomatic persons as per clauses of the Government of the Republic Order No. 169 “Imposition of temporary restrictions on crossing the state border in order to prevent a new outbreak of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease” of 16 May 2020 in the following cases:
1) persons referred to in clauses 2 through 8 and 10 through 12 who were abroad and have arrived in Estonia for a purpose set out in clauses 3 through 8 or 10, including employees of diplomatic missions or consular posts of Estonia or their family members or holders of an Estonian diplomatic passport or persons arriving in Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation or members of foreign delegations arriving in Estonia for official meetings on the invitation of a state or local authority;
[RT III, 28.08.2020, 3 – entry into force 01.09.2020]
2) [repealed – RT III, 14.09.2020, 1 – entry into force 14.09.2020]
3) [repealed – RT III, 14.09.2020, 1 – entry into force 14.09.2020]
4) [repealed – RT III, 14.09.2020, 1 – entry into force 14.09.2020]
5) [repealed – RT III, 14.09.2020, 1 – entry into force 14.09.2020]
6) persons referred to in clauses 2 and 121 who have been in a Member State of the European Union or a Schengen Member State, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the Principality of Andorra, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of San Marino and the Vatican City State (Holy See) for the past 10 days in succession, provided the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants in said country for the past 14 days is equal to or less than 25. The restriction provided for in clauses 1 and 2 of the Government of the Republic Order No. 282 “Restrictions on the freedom of movement and on holding public meetings and public events as necessary for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 disease” of 19 August 2020 does also not apply to persons referred to in this clause if the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants in said country for the past 14 days is greater than 25 but less than or up to 10% greater than the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants in the Republic of Estonia for the past 14 days or equal thereto but not greater than 50. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes this information on its website;
[RT III, 29.10.2020, 2 – entry into force 30.10.2020]
7) persons referred to in clause 122, unless they arrive from a country where the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days is greater than 16;
8) persons referred to in clause 2 who arrive from a country referred to in clause 122, unless the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID 19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants in said country for the past 14 days is greater than 16;
9) persons referred to in clause 123, unless in the country from where a person arrives and under whose laws the person is deemed to be its resident or is deemed to stay there legally the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days is greater than 16 or unless the above information is not available for that country and there is a high risk of the virus spreading in that country. A sponsor of a person referred to in this clause shall ensure, in the event that in the country from where the person arrives and under whose laws the person is deemed to be its resident or is deemed to stay there legally the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days is greater than 16 or if the above information is not available for that country and there is a high risk of the virus spreading in that country, in cooperation with that person that the latter can stay in their place of residence or permanent place of stay for up to 10 calendar days after arrival in Estonia and be tested for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 immediately after arrival in Estonia and re-tested no earlier than on their 10th day in Estonia. A person who is an athlete, a coach or a team member from a third country and who has an employment relationship with a club playing in Estonian championship league or who is involved in an athlete’s everyday training activities at the Estonian league level or who participates in an international championship as an athlete or an athlete’s team member or who is directly involved in carrying out aforesaid sports competition may perform urgent and inevitably necessary duties by a decision of their employer if after arrival in the country the person has taken at least one test for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease, the results of which came back negative.
[RT III, 29.10.2020, 2 – entry into force 30.10.2020]

41. [Repealed – RT III, 09.10.2020, 1 – entry into force 12.10.2020]

42The provisions of clauses 1 and 2 and sub-clause 6) of clause 4 are not applied to asymptomatic persons who have been in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Finland or the Republic of Estonia for the past 10 days in succession and who arrive in the Republic of Estonia from the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia or the Republic of Finland if the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days in said countries is over 10% greater than the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants in the Republic of Estonia for the past 14 days or greater than 50 and no earlier than 48 hours before arrival in the country the persons took a test for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease which came back negative. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes information on the morbidity rates in those countries on its website.
[RT III, 29.10.2020, 2 – entry into force 30.10.2020]

43The provisions of clauses 1 and 2, sub-clause 6) of clause 4 and clause 42 are not applied to asymptomatic persons whose place of residence is in the administrative territory of the local authorities of Valga in the Republic of Estonia or Valka in the Republic of Latvia and who cross the state border between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia on the condition that they will not go beyond the borders of the administrative territory of the local authorities of Valga and Valka, respectively.
[RT III, 09.10.2020, 1 – entry into force 12.10.2020]

44The provisions of clauses 1 and 2 and sub-clause 6) of clause 4 are not applied to asymptomatic persons who have been in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Finland or the Republic of Estonia for the past 10 days in succession and who have entered the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia or the Republic of Finland from the Republic of Estonia and then returned from said countries to the Republic of Estonia if the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days in the country returned from is over 10% greater than the cumulative number of positive tests for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants in the Republic of Estonia for the past 14 days or greater than 50 and the persons take a test after arrival in the Republic of Estonia. After arrival in the country the persons must stay in their place of residence or permanent place of stay until finding out that their test was negative.
[RT III, 29.10.2020, 2 – entry into force 30.10.2020]

45The provisions of clauses 1 and 2, sub-clause 6) of clause 4 and clause 42 are not applied to asymptomatic persons who have been in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Finland or the Republic of Estonia for the past 10 days in succession and who arrive in the Republic of Estonia from the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia or the Republic of Finland and if they arrive in the Republic of Estonia from the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Latvia or the Republic of Finland for the purpose of working, studying or receiving health services or for family reasons or transit.
[RT III, 29.10.2020, 2 – entry into force 30.10.2020]

5. [Repealed – RT III, 04.09.2020, 1 – entry into force 04.09.2020]

6. The provisions of clauses 1 and 2 do not apply to asymptomatic persons who participate in a public event referred to in clause 7 as an artist or who are directly involved in carrying out the event or who participate in a sports competition or a sports event as an athlete or an athlete’s team member or who are directly involved in carrying out a sports competition or a sports event.

7. Public events, sports competitions and sports events if the requirements established for the participants differ from those set out in clauses 11, 15 and 17 through 19 are allowed on the following conditions:
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
1) there is an overriding public or national interest in the relevant event;
2) the local authority of the location of the event has provided an opinion on the activity;
3) the Health Board has provided an opinion on the suitability of the risk management plan drawn up by the organiser of the event for preventing the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease.

8. The Health Board shall establish necessary restrictions on the freedom of movement of the persons referred to in clause 6.

81In public indoor spaces, up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others. This restriction does not apply to families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured and in cases provided for in sub-clause 1) of clause 91  and sub-clause 1) of clause 10. For the purposes of this Order, public indoor space means a space that has been given to the disposal of unspecified people or that is at the disposal of unspecified people or in which unspecified people are allowed to be; among other things, public transport vehicles are also public indoor space.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

82In public indoor spaces people are required to wear a protective mask or cover their mouth and nose (hereinafter ‘mask’). Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

9. Customers may be and move around in indoor sales area of stores, in service providers’ service points and in public spaces of commercial establishments if the following requirements are met:
1) up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
2) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
3) up to 50% of occupancy is ensured in sales area of stores, in service providers’ service points and in public spaces of commercial establishments;
4) at least at the entrance to and exit from the sales area and service point the possessor thereof has ensured the availability of disinfectants to employees and customers;
5) compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board is ensured.
[RT III, 03.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 05.12.2020]

91Customers may be and move around in catering establishments’ sales and seating areas if the following requirements are met:
1) up to 10 persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured. The requirement for being and moving around in groups of up to 10 persons does not apply to families;
[RT III, 12.11.2020, 5 – entry into force 16.11.2020]
11) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
2) the service provider ensures that from 22:00 to 06:00 the only persons in the catering establishment’s sales or seating area are persons who want takeaway or who provide delivery or transport services, the proprietor or their representative, employees, persons involved in emergency work or persons necessary for economic servicing of the establishment;
[RT III, 03.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 05.12.2020]
3) the service provider ensures the availability of disinfectants;
[RT III, 12.11.2020, 5 – entry into force 16.11.2020]
4) the service provider ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board. The restriction referred to in sub-clause 2) does not apply on board of aircraft used for international carriage of passengers or to places of business located inside the security restricted area of an international airport and places of business located beyond the boarding gates in the waiting area of a passenger terminal of an international port. The restriction on business hours referred to in sub-clause 2) does not apply to petrol stations if the service provider ensures that its customers will not consume any food or beverages on the premises.
[RT III, 12.11.2020, 5 – entry into force 16.11.2020]

10. Customers may be and move around in places where leisure services are provided if the following requirements are met:
1) up to 10 persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured. The requirement for being and moving around in groups of up to 10 persons does not apply to families;
[RT III, 12.11.2020, 5 – entry into force 16.11.2020]
11) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
2) the service provider ensures up to 50% of occupancy at the place of provision of service and the number of customers up to 250 people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
3) the service provider ensures that from 22:00 to 06:00 the only persons in the in the place of provision of leisure services are the proprietor or their representative, employees, persons involved in emergency work or persons necessary for economic servicing of the establishment;
[RT III, 03.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 05.12.2020]
4) the service provider ensures the availability of disinfectants;
[RT III, 12.11.2020, 5 – entry into force 16.11.2020]
5) the service provider ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
[RT III, 12.11.2020, 5 – entry into force 16.11.2020]
Said requirements also apply during the provision of leisure services. The requirements referred to in sub-clause 1) and the limit on the number of customers set out in sub-clause 2) do not apply to children’s playrooms.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

11. People may attend indoor public meetings, public events, including conferences, theatre performances, concerts and film screenings, public religious services and other public religious rites where a specific seat is ensured for persons in the designated area on the condition that:
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
1) the number of attendees up to 400 people is ensured;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 28.11.2020]
2) the organiser of an indoor event ensures up to 50% attendance capacity in Harju County and Ida-Viru County;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 28.11.2020]
3) outside the seating area, up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
4) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
5) the organiser of an event ensures the availability of disinfectants;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
6) the organiser of an event ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

12. Passengers are subject to a total restriction on the freedom of movement concerning going on a ferry sailing on the route Tallinn–Stockholm–Tallinn for the purpose of a pleasure trip.

13. Public meetings are allowed only if the following requirements are met:
1) up to two persons may be and move around together indoors while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
2) the organiser of an indoor meeting ensures up to 50% attendance capacity and the number of attendees up to 250 people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
3) the organiser of an outdoor meeting ensures the number of attendees up to 500 people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
4) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
5) the organiser of a meeting ensures the availability of disinfectants;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
6) the organiser of a meeting ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

14. Public saunas, spas, swimming pools and water parks may only be used if the following requirements are met:
1) up to two persons may be and move around together indoors while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
2) the service provider ensures up to 50% of occupancy in the place of provision of service;
3) the service provider ensures the availability of disinfectants;
4) the service provider ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
Engaging in sports or training in said places is subject to the requirements provided for in clauses 17 and 18.

15. Public events are allowed only if the following requirements are met:
1) up to two persons may be and move around together indoors while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
2) the organiser of an indoor event ensures up to 50% of occupancy and the number of attendees up to 250 people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
3) the organiser of an outdoor event ensures the number of attendees up to 500 people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
4) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
41) the organiser of an event ensures that attendees are not at the venue from 22:00 to 06:00;
[RT III, 03.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 05.12.2020]
5) the organiser of an event ensures the availability of disinfectants;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
6) the organiser of an event ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

16. Public religious services and other public religious rites are allowed only if the following requirements are met:
1) up to two persons may be and move around together indoors while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
2) the organiser of an indoor event ensures up to 50% of occupancy and the number of attendees up to 250 people;
3) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
4) the availability of disinfectants is ensured;
5) compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board is ensured.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

17. Engaging in sports, training and carrying out sports and exercise events outdoors are only allowed if the scattering of people and the number of participants up to 500 people are ensured and the organiser of the activity ensures the availability of disinfectants and compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board. This restriction does not apply to all sports teams if requirements arising from the international competition rules for the sport are complied with, or to training of candidates for Estonian adult sports teams and training of championship league teams.
[RT III, 03.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 05.12.2020]

18. Engaging in sports, training and carrying out sports and exercise events indoors are only allowed if the following requirements are met:
1) the organiser ensures the scattering of people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
2) at sports and exercise events in public indoor spaces, up to two spectators may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
3) the organiser ensures up to 50% attendance capacity and the number of attendees up to 250 people at sports and exercise events;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
4) the spectators wear a mask indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
5) in Harju County it is ensured that there are up to 10 people in a group and that there is no contact with other groups;
[RT III, 04.12.2020, 3 – entry into force 05.12.2020]
51) the organiser of a sports or exercise event ensures that attendees are not at the venue from 22:00 to 06:00;
[RT III, 03.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 05.12.2020]
6) the organiser ensures the availability of disinfectants;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
7) the organiser ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
The requirements in this clause do not apply to activities carried out under preschool, basic and secondary education curricula. Sub-clauses 3) and 5) do not apply to professional and semiprofessional sports activities within the competitions system of a sports federation, including in youth sport to those athletes and teams that participate in Estonian championships organised by a sports federation.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

19. Sports competitions are allowed only if the following requirements are met:
1) the organiser of an event ensures the scattering of people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
2) the organiser of an indoor event ensures up to 50% attendance capacity and the number of attendees up to 250 people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
3) the organiser of an outdoor event ensures the number of attendees up to 500 people;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
4) the spectators wear a mask indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
5) at competitions held in public indoor spaces, up to two spectators may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
6) the organiser of an event ensures the availability of disinfectants;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
7) the organiser of an event ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

20. Visiting museums and exhibitions is only allowed if the following requirements are met:
1) up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
11) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]
2) the service provider ensures the availability of disinfectants;
3) in rooms open for the public, the service provider ensures wet cleaning of surfaces subject to frequent touching after every 2 to 4 hours;
4) interactive displays are closed or the service provider ensures their wet cleaning after each use or the service provider has made disposable gloves available to the visitors and ensures the safe handling thereof after use;
5) if possible, the service provider replaces physical information materials handed out free of charge with digital ones;
6) no creative work or workshops with shared means of work are organised or disinfection is ensured after each user.

201In general and special care homes (hereinafter ‘social welfare institution’) the following requirements must be met:
1) employees and visitors of social welfare institutions shall wear a mask as personal protective equipment inside and on the territory of the relevant institution;
2) a mask need not be worn by a person for whom it is contraindicated for medical reasons, and upon the performance of duties if any and all contact with the employees, customers and other visitors of the relevant social welfare institution is avoided, or in other justified cases;
3) when wearing and using masks the maximum duration of use specified by the manufacturer and instructions from the Health Board and the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority shall be complied with.
[RT III, 14.09.2020, 1 – entry into force 14.09.2020]

202Indoor hobby activities and hobby education in Harju County and indoor refresher training in Harju County and Ida-Viru County are only allowed if the following requirements are met:
[RT III, 04.12.2020, 3 – entry into force 05.12.2020]
1) it is ensured that there are up to 10 people in a group and that there is no contact with other groups;
2) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
3) shared objects are disinfected after each use;
4) the service provider ensures the availability of disinfectants and compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
The requirements set out in this clause do not apply to activities related to the military defence or internal security of the state.
[RT III, 23.11.2020, 1 – entry into force 24.11.2020]

203In Ida-Viru County, indoor hobby activities, hobby education, engaging in sports and training as well as indoor sports and exercise events are only allowed if the following requirements are met:
1) individual learning or individual activities are ensured;
2) up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
3) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
4) shared objects are disinfected after each use;
5) the service provider ensures the availability of disinfectants and compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board;
6) the organiser of a sports competition ensures that the competition is organised subject to the requirements referred to in clause 19.
The requirements in this clause do not apply to sports activities carried out under preschool, basic and secondary education curricula, activities related to the military defence or internal security of the state, professional and semiprofessional sports activities within the competitions system of a sports federation, including in youth sport to those athletes and teams that participate in Estonian championships organised by a sports federation, or activities of disabled persons.
[RT III, 04.12.2020, 3 – entry into force 05.12.2020]

204From 14 December 2020 up to and including 3 January 2021 outdoor and indoor sporting and training activities are allowed if the following requirements are met:
1) individual activities and individual training, including with an instructor, free of any contact are ensured indoors;
2) it is ensured that there are up to 10 people in a group outdoors and that there is no contact with other groups;
3) up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
4) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of work or other activities or for other significant reasons;
5) shared objects are disinfected after each use;
6) the service provider ensures the availability of disinfectants and compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
This restriction does not apply to professional sports activities within the competitions system of a sports federation, including members of and candidates for Estonian adult and youth teams and team sport players in championship leagues, activities related to the military defence or internal security of the state, or activities of disabled persons.
[RT III, 10.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 12.12.2020]

205From 14 December 2020 up to and including 3 January 2021 sports and exercise events are not allowed.
[RT III, 10.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 12.12.2020]

206From 14 December 2020 up to and including 3 January 2021 sports competitions are only allowed if the following requirements are met:
1) only championship league teams participating in the competitions system of sports federations, professional athletes, and members of and candidates for Estonian adult and youth teams take part in sports competitions;
2) no spectators are allowed;
3) up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others; this restriction does not apply to contestants and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
4) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of activities or for other significant reasons;
5) the organiser of an indoor competition ensures up to 50% of occupancy and the number of attendees up to 250 people;
6) the organiser of an outdoor competition ensures the number of attendees up to 500 people;
7) the organiser of a competition ensures the availability of disinfectants;
8) the organiser of a competition ensures compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
[RT III, 10.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 12.12.2020]

207From 14 December 2020 up to and including 3 January 2021 youth work, hobby activities, hobby education and refresher training are only allowed if the following requirements are met:
1) indoor hobby education and hobby activities are allowed if individual activities and individual training, including with an instructor, free of any contact are ensured;
2) outdoor hobby education and hobby activities are allowed if it is ensured that there are up to10 people in a group and that there is no contact with other groups;
3) indoor and outdoor youth work and refresher training are allowed if individual activities and individual training, including with an instructor, free of any contact are ensured;
4) up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except for families and in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
5) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of activities or for other significant reasons;
6) shared objects are disinfected after each use;
7) the service provider ensures the availability of disinfectants and compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board.
This restriction does not apply to activities related to the military defence or internal security of the state, or activities of disabled persons. The requirements referred to in this clause do not apply to Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre.
[RT III, 10.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 12.12.2020]

208From 14 December 2020 up to and including 31 December 2020 a restriction on the freedom of movement in educational institutions is imposed as follows:
1) students may not be or move around in study buildings of general education schools, vocational educational institutions, institutions of professional higher education and universities, which are only deemed to be rooms used for learning purposes;
2) sub-clause 1) does not apply when students require educational support services or, according to their teacher, consultations for achieving learning outcomes or when they engage in practical studies or take exams or tests or compete in Olympiads;
3) in the event referred to in sub-clause 2), up to two persons may be and move around together while keeping at least two metres of distance from others, except in cases when said requirements cannot be reasonably ensured;
4) a mask is worn indoors. Said requirement does not apply to children under 12 years of age and in cases when wearing a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to the nature of activities or for other significant reasons;
5) the availability of disinfectants and compliance with the disinfection requirements according to instructions from the Health Board are ensured.
The requirements referred to in this clause do not apply to schools where most students receive enhanced support or special support, pre-school child care institutions or activities of disabled persons.
[RT III, 10.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 12.12.2020]

209From 12 December 2020 up to and including 3 January 2021 the restrictions on the freedom of movement provided for in clauses 81 through 208 are applied in Ida-Viru County with the specifications provided for in this clause:
1) persons may not be or move around in places of provision of leisure services, in places of provision of accommodation services, in museums or in exhibition facilities. This restriction does not apply to the proprietor of a place of provision of service or their representative, employees, persons involved in emergency work or persons necessary for economic servicing of the place. Furthermore, this restriction does not apply to persons who use accommodation services for the provision of health services or for the provision of other services necessary to respond to an emergency as well as persons who are in accommodation establishments because they have been accommodated there by the local authority or another state authority for the purpose of receiving services provided by the local authority or other state authority, and this restriction does also not apply to boarding school facilities of educational institutions or persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 or persons who have had close contact with the latter for the purpose of quarantine;
2) persons may not be or move around in public sports clubs or other sports facilities, saunas, spas, swimming pools or water parks. This restriction does not apply to the proprietor of a place of provision of service or their representative, employees, persons involved in emergency work or persons necessary for economic servicing of the place, professional sports activities within the competitions system of a sports federation, including members of and candidates for Estonian adult and youth teams and team sport players in championship leagues, activities related to the military defence or internal security of the state, or activities of disabled persons;
3) persons may not be or move around in catering establishment’s sales or seating area, except for the purpose of takeaway or provision of delivery or transport services. This restriction does not apply to the proprietor of a place of provision of service or their representative, employees, persons involved in emergency work or persons necessary for economic servicing of the place;
4) indoor and outdoor public meetings, public events, including conferences, theatre performances, concerts and film screenings, with or without specific seats, are not allowed;
5) public religious services and other public religious rites where specific seats are ensured for persons in the designated area may take place on the conditions referred to in clause 11, public religious services and other public religious rites without specific seats may take place on the conditions referred to in clause 16;
6) youth work, hobby activities, hobby education and refresher training are allowed if individual activities and individual training, including with an instructor, free of any contact are ensured. This restriction does not apply to activities related to the military defence or internal security of the state, or activities of disabled persons;
7) engaging in sports and training in public indoor spaces are not allowed. Engaging in sports and training outdoors are allowed if individual activities and individual training, including with an instructor, free of any contact are ensured.
The restriction provided for in this sub-clause does not apply to professional sports activities within the competitions system of a sports federation, including members of and candidates for Estonian adult and youth teams and team sport players in championship leagues, activities related to the military defence or internal security of the state, or activities of disabled persons.
[RT III, 10.12.2020, 1 – entry into force 12.12.2020]

2010Customers staying at a place of provision of accommodation services when the restriction referred to in sub-clause 1) of clause 209 takes effect are required to leave the place of provision of accommodation services by no later than 13 December 2020.
[RT III, 10.12.2020, 1 –entry into force 12.12.2020]

21. Under § 44 (1) of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act, supervision over the requirements imposed by this Order is exercised by the Health Board. The Health Board may involve the Police and Border Guard Board in the supervision, adhering to the requirements and procedure for professional assistance provided for in the Administrative Co-operation Act.

22. The restrictions and measures established by this Order shall apply until the date specified in this Order or until this Order is changed or repealed and the need for these restrictions and measures shall be assessed no later than after every two weeks.

23. This Order takes effect on 19 August 2020. Clause 2 and sub-clause 3) of clause 3 take effect on 1 September 2020.

24. [Omitted from this text.]

25. This Order shall be published on the website of the Government of the Republic and in the official gazette Riigi Teataja.

This Order is issued considering the fact that under § 2 2) of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 corresponds to the signs of a dangerous novel communicable disease because there is no effective treatment and the spread of the disease may exceed the hospital treatment capacity, and the requirements, measures and restrictions established by this Order clearly have a significant social and economic effect. The risk of the virus spreading is currently very high and therefore, in order to minimise the risk, it is proportional to restrict people’s freedom of movement in the places referred to in the Order for the protection of the life and health of people and overriding public interest in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease.

For the protection of the life and health of people and overriding public interest, including for the protection of the continuity of the state, this Order establishes requirements, measures and restrictions that are inevitably necessary for preventing the spread of the virus. The reasons and considerations are set out in the explanatory memorandum to the Order, which will be published on the website of the Government of the Republic.

Failure to duly comply with measures for preventing the spread of the virus will prompt the application of the administrative coercive measures set out in § 28 (2) or (3) of the Law Enforcement Act. The maximum amount of penalty payment is 9600 euros. This penalty payment, which serves the purpose of enforcing the requirements, measures and restrictions imposed by this Order and preventing the spread of the virus, may be imposed repeatedly.

This Order can be appealed against by filing a challenge with the Government of the Republic pursuant to the procedure provided by the Administrative Procedure Act within 30 days as of the day the relevant person became or should have become aware of the Order. This Order can also be appealed against by filing an action with the administrative court pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Code of Administrative Court Procedure within 30 days as of the day of announcement of this Order.

 

Reasons for the amendments made by the Government of the Republic Order No. 440 of 10 December 2020

For the protection of the life and health of people and overriding public interest, including for the protection of the continuity of the state, this Order imposes indispensable measures and restrictions for preventing the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease.

§ 28 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia (hereinafter the Constitution) provides for everyone’s right to protection of his or her health. In this case the fundamental right protects different values. Firstly, people’s right to protection of their health by having the state do everything in its power to stop the spread of the virus. Also, general public interest in avoiding the spread of the virus and mass infections as well as overload of the health care system. In a situation where contact with other people poses a great risk of the virus spreading the state has an obligation to minimise the risk of infection, which also means that, for the purpose of achieving this objective, contact between people may be restricted in an appropriate manner. It must also be considered that the number of infected people and the number of deaths are still on the rise in the world, including Estonia. The increasing number of infected people who need to be hospitalised may put the continuity of the health care system in risk in a very short period of time.

The Constitution provides for rights and freedoms that the state is also required to ensure. The state may circumscribe the rights and freedoms set out in the Constitution considering the nature of the right or freedom in question and the conditions arising from the Constitution itself. For instance, under § 34 of the Constitution everyone whose presence in Estonian territory is lawful has the right to move freely in that territory and to choose freely where to reside. The right to move freely may be circumscribed in cases and pursuant to the procedure provided by law for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of others and preventing the spread of a communicable disease, among others. § 19 of the Constitution provides for the right to free self-realisation, § 31 for the freedom of enterprise, § 37 for the right to education, and so on. It is justified to apply certain restrictions for preventing the spread of the virus causing the COVID-19 disease. Setting restrictions on rights and freedoms requires a fair balance between the objective sought by the restriction and the scope and effect of the restriction. Proportional restrictions necessary for stopping the virus are justified by the above compelling objectives.

Under § 28 (2), (5) and (6) of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act (hereinafter the Act) and considering § 28 (8) thereof, the Government of the Republic may take measures for preventing communicable diseases when the application of measures and restrictions for the prevention of an epidemic spread of communicable diseases has a significant effect on society or economy. The following preconditions must be met: it is an extremely dangerous communicable disease or a dangerous novel communicable disease; the Health Board has given the Government of the Republic information and a recommendation on the obligation to wear a mask on the basis of epidemiological, laboratory and clinical information; the measure (obligation or restriction) is absolutely necessary for preventing the spread of the virus or in other words the requirement must be proportional and rational; the measure is temporary or in other words limited in time and it brings about a significant social or economic effect.

For the protection of the life and health of people and overriding public interest, including for the protection of the continuity of the state, this Order imposes indispensable measures and restrictions for preventing the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease. The restrictions serve the purpose of reducing human contact and avoiding large gatherings and thereby the spread of the virus.

On 9 December 2020 the Estonian morbidity rate for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease per 100,000 inhabitants for the last 14 days was 414.98. 5699 tests were analysed in the last 24 hours and 547 of them, i.e. 9.6% came back positive. 264 persons were in hospital and 13 patients were on mechanical ventilation. Two deaths occurred in the last 24 hours. A total of 139 people have died in Estonia as a result of the coronavirus.

The virus has spread the most in Ida-Viru County. In Ida-Viru County the morbidity rate per 100,000 inhabitants for the past 14 days is 1011.48, being more than twice as high as the rate in Harju County (458.82) where the spread of the virus is second widest. A total of 1358 COVID-19 cases were registered in the Health Board’s Eastern Region during the past 14 days (from 24 November to 8 December 2020).

The restrictions imposed by this Order are necessary because the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Estonia has rapidly increased in Ida-Viru, Harju and Tartu Counties where, according to data of 8 December 2020, the infection rate grew 25%, 14% and 16%, respectively, in a week. Morbidity has also increased in Estonia as a whole – the Estonian morbidity has increased 17% compared to last week.

If in September and October the virus spread mainly among younger people, then now the infection has also been transmitted to older people through them. This fact has caused a steep increase in the number of people in need of hospitalisation and in the number of deaths caused by COVID-19. In November, 47 deaths were registered in Estonia and more than half of those, i.e. 25, were registered in the 48th week. Compared to October (6 deaths), the number of deaths was nearly eight times higher in November.

In the context of higher morbidity the percentage of infected people with unknown source of infection has also significantly increased. According to the Health Board, in week 49, in 36% (896) of the cases people became infected in unknown places, in 25% (624) of the cases within their family, in 12.2% (303) of the cases at work and in 8.8% (217) of the cases through other contact with an infected person, which is deemed to cover contact in a hobby group, at an event, among friends, at one’s place of residence, at practice, in congregation. In addition, 200 new cases of infection took place in hospital and social welfare institutions and 100 cases in educational institutions, on 73 occasions the infection was imported from abroad and 35 people became infected in the Defence Forces.

Consequently, the imposition of requirements is an efficient and proportional measure for the protection of public health. The reasons for the measures and restrictions are set out in the Order and the explanatory memorandum to the Order.

On 9 December 2020, East Viru Central Hospital had 57 COVID-19 patients compared to 59 in West Tallinn Central Hospital and 34 in Tartu University Hospital, and as of 3 December 2020 Ida-Viru County’s patients have been referred to Tartu University Hospital, where necessary.

On 9 December 2020, the number of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients was critical (above 60%) in Tartu University Hospital (60%), East Tallinn Central Hospital (62%), North Estonia Medical Centre (69%), West Tallinn Central Hospital (83%), East Viru Central Hospital (85%) and Narva Hospital (95%).

Great pressure on the health care and social welfare system is put by increased number of infected people among 65-year-olds and older. The average age of hospitalised people is 66 years, and 65-year-olds and older people account for 14% of all infected people and 70% of those in hospital.

Moreover, the infection rate in social welfare institutions has increased. For the past 14 days 9 centres of infection were identified in social welfare institutions; for example, on 9 December 2020 two centres of infection in the Sillamäe social welfare institution included 43 infected people (including the staff), the centre of infection in Kohtla-Järve Care Home for Elderly included 27 people (including the staff), in 4 care homes in the Southern Region there were 146 infected people (including the staff), in a care home in Lääne County 14 people and in the Northern Region 16 people.

In week 48 a total of 25 customers and 6 members of the staff were infected in social welfare institutions and 172 customers and 42 members of the staff in week 49.

Establishment of the restrictions is based on the fact that the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is an infectious disease that spreads from one person to another by way of droplet infection, primarily upon close contact with an infectious person showing typical symptoms. This means that a person can contract the virus when in close contact with an infected person or through contaminated surfaces or hands. The virus spreads faster indoors and people in risk groups (including older people) are in greater risk of the disease becoming serious or of complications or of needing hospital treatment.

Various restrictions on the freedom of movement for preventing and stopping the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease have been established by the Government of the Republic Order No. 282 “Measures and restrictions necessary for preventing the spread of COVID-19” of 19 August 2020. The restrictions were imposed with the consideration that the implementation thereof would allow people to carry on with their normal lives as much as possible.

At the end of this September when the number of people infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease started increasing rapidly the Government of the Republic changed the earlier restrictions for preventing the spread of the virus and as of 29 September 2020 decreased the number of people allowed to attend indoor public meetings and public events and sports competitions from 1500 to 750.

Due to the continued rapid increase in the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease the Government of the Republic established as of 16 November 2020 additional restrictions on customers being and moving around in stores, in public spaces of shopping centres, in sales and seating areas of catering establishments, in places of provision of entertainment services, and at public meetings and public events where a seat is designated for attendees – outside said area. A limit was imposed on the number of people allowed to be and move around together in said places – up to two or up to ten persons depending on the place – and their obligation to keep at least two metres of distance from others. A new restriction was also imposed and according to that restriction customers may not be in catering establishments’ sales or seating area or in places of provision of leisure services from 00:00 to 06:00. Cases when these restrictions do not apply were also set out. By an Order of 23 November 2020 the Government of the Republic imposed additional restrictions, providing for an overall obligation to wear a mask in all public indoor spaces and to follow the so-called 2+2 rule for being and moving around in public indoor spaces. The number of people allowed to attend public events was also decreased by allowing up to 400 people to attend indoor events where a designated seat is ensured and up to 250 people to attend other indoor events. Outdoor events may be attended by up to 500 people. Having regard to the wide spread of the virus in Harju County and Ida-Viru County, the Government of the Republic imposed additional restrictions on indoor hobby education, hobby activities, refresher training and engaging in sports in said counties already on 23 November 2020. Also, in addition to decreasing the general limit on attendees a restriction of 50% of occupancy was imposed on activities taking place in locations with designated seats in Harju County and Ida-Viru County.

An Order of 3 December 2020 imposed an obligation as of 5 December 2020 to ensure that the number of people in sales area of stores, in service providers’ service points and in public spaces of commercial establishments would not go beyond 50% of occupancy. In addition, the closing time of catering and entertainment establishments was moved from 00:00 to 22:00. Public events without designated seats and indoor sports and exercise events must also end by 22:00 at the latest. Considering the critical health care situation in Ida-Viru County, the Order restricted indoor hobby activities, hobby education, engaging in sports and training as well as sports and exercise events in said county. Said activities are allowed by way of individual learning and individual activities. The so-called 2+2 rule must be complied with.

Furthermore, in the interests of ensuring public order, the Government of the Republic suspended throughout the state the right of retail sale of alcoholic beverages in places of business where the retail sale of alcohol is permitted for consumption on the premises from 00:00 to 10:00 starting from 25 September 2020. Said restriction remains in effect up to and including 26 January 2021.

Pursuant to Orders issued by the Government of the Republic, people infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease and people who have had close contact with them are required to be quarantined and people returning from abroad are subject to restrictions on the freedom of movement.

Despite the restrictions, including stricter restrictions in Ida-Viru County, people have not stopped becoming infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease but according to the Health Board the spread of the disease in Ida-Viru County is still wide and rapid. In addition to individuals becoming infected, the virus has had a perceptible effect on the continuity of the health care system starting from the now critically low number of hospital beds intended for the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and ending with the availability of scheduled treatment. The wide spread of the virus also has a significant negative effect on the entire society (labour market, enterprise, education, free self-realisation, and so on).

Therefore it is absolutely necessary for the Government of the Republic to apply the measures and restrictions intended for preventing the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in a manner more intensive than before in Ida-Viru County. Considering how small Estonia is and how much people move around, there is a great risk that the virus will also spread widely into other parts of Estonia. Consequently, the Order also imposes additional restrictions subject to temporary application throughout Estonia. The measures and restrictions are also deemed necessary by the Science Council advising the Government of the Republic and the Health Board.

From 14 December through 31 December 2020, it is not allowed to be in general education schools, vocational educational institutions, institutions of professional higher education and universities throughout Estonia. According to § 37 (5) of the Constitution, the provision of education is overseen by the national government. Although the provision of education depending on the level is the duty of the state and the local government, the availability of quality education is the responsibility of the state through the Ministry of Education and Research who must ensure adequate supervision and organisation of studies. According to the Ministry of Education and Research the restrictions imposed by the Order on educational institutions are justified for the purpose of preventing the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Should educational institutions carry on with studies as usual, it is very likely that continued lessons, lectures, seminars, practices, training and so on in educational institutions would result in the students becoming infected at school or on their way there or they would transmit the infection on to other target groups. In order to change the organisation of studies, for example to institute e-learning, the manager of an educational institution need not get the approval of the Health Board and they may directly implement this Order. Contact learning is allowed for students with special educational needs, and personal consultations, Olympiads, practical training, exams and tests are allowed. Nursery schools and day care will remain open.

From 14 December 2020 up to and including 3 January 2021, engaging in sports and training, including sports competitions, and youth work and youth and adult hobby education, hobby activities and refresher training will be subject to even stricter requirements. Sports and exercise events will also be suspended during this time.

Only individual activities, learning and sports, including distance activities, will be allowed indoors. Engaging in sports and training, hobby activities and hobby education outdoors will be allowed if there are up to 10 people in a group plus instructor or trainer. Restrictions are not imposed on professional athletes, including championship league teams and members of and candidates for the national team. No restrictions are also applied to disabled persons or activities related to the military defence or internal security of the state.

The only ones allowed to compete are championship league teams participating in the competitions system of sports federations, professional athletes and members of and candidates for Estonian adult and youth teams, without any spectators.

Even more extensive temporary restrictions are imposed in Ida-Viru County. This Order provides for venues where due to the spread of the virus people will not be allowed to be from 12 December 2020 up to and including 3 January 2021, for example, entertainment venues, saunas, spas, swimming pools, museums, accommodation establishments, sports clubs and so on. It also provides for venues where people may be and move around to a certain extent on the conditions provided for in the Order, for instance only takeaway is allowed in restaurants and cafés. Indoor and outdoor public meetings, public events, including conferences, theatre performances, concerts and film screenings, with or without designated seats, are temporarily not allowed in Ida-Viru County. An exception is made for public religious services and public religious rites in view of Christmas time. From 12 December 2020 up to and including 3 January 2021, hobby activities, hobby education and refresher training are only allowed as individual activities, learning and sports, including from a distance, in Ida-Viru County. Engaging in sports and training outdoors are allowed if carried out individually.

The additional restrictions in Ida-Viru County and in entire Estonia are imposed for a certain period of time, unless due to the spread of the virus the Government of the Republic decides otherwise. 

The restrictions serve the purpose of reducing contact between people in a manner even more efficient than before. According to the Science Council advising the Government of the Republic, in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease the infection multiplier must be less than one. The infection multiplier or R0 (R naught) shows how many people are infected by one person. For infection to start decreasing this multiplier must fall below one. On 8 December 2020 the infection multiplier was 1.2. According to scientists it is possible to bring the infection multiplier down if people can reduce mutual contact by 20% and if distance is kept by about 10% more along with wearing a mask.

Therefore, the measures and restrictions imposed by this Order for minimising contact between people for the purpose of preventing the spread of the virus are justified and, with other measures and restrictions (for example, keeping of distance, hand washing, disinfecting and wearing a mask), suitable for their purpose of stopping the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease.

Since the level of infection remains high in Estonia and there is a risk that without any additional restrictions the virus will spread even more widely across the country, adding new restrictions to the Order of the Government of the Republic is absolutely necessary. Not imposing additional restrictions would pose a risk to the continuity of the national health care system, whereas the emergency has already made it necessary to reduce the provision of regular out-patient treatment. The normal functioning of other sectors and the availability of public services are also at risk, for example the availability of education and studying (teachers and students get infected), safety (police officers and other officials get infected), the public transport system, the service sector and so on. The restrictions are imposed for preventing the spread of the virus and they will be eased once the situation allows.

The Order is established for the better protection of the health of all people, including persons suffering from chronic diseases, people with a weaker immune system and older people in risk groups, and for ensuring the availability of health services to all inhabitants of Estonia.

Under § 44 (1) of the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act, supervision over the requirements imposed by this Order is exercised by the Health Board. Failure to duly comply with measures for preventing the spread of the virus will prompt the application of the administrative coercive measures set out in § 28 (2) or (3) of the Law Enforcement Act. The maximum amount of penalty payment is 9600 euros. This penalty payment, which serves the purpose of enforcing the requirements, measures and restrictions imposed by this Order and preventing the spread of the virus, may be imposed repeatedly.

This Order can be appealed against by filing a challenge with the Government of the Republic pursuant to the procedure provided by the Administrative Procedure Act within 30 days as of the day the relevant person became or should have become aware of the Order. This Order can also be appealed against by filing an action with the administrative court pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Code of Administrative Court Procedure within 30 days as of the day of announcement of this Order.

The explanatory memorandum to the Order is available on the website kriis.ee.

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