Tallinn to ease restrictions step-by-step in three phases

Today, the Tallinn City Government approved the emergency situation exit plan of the city, according to which the easing of the restrictions established due to the spread of the novel coronavirus will start on May 11, first with regard to outdoor activities. On 18 May, restrictions on contact activities outdoors will be lifted and from 1 June, the city will resume services for the elderly.

According to Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, Tallinn will continue its conservative line in containing the spread of the virus. "Unfortunately, the number of new confirmed cases keeps growing in Tallinn. We must take in account the fact Tallinn has the highest population in the country, and should an outbreak occur, it could quickly spread both in the city and to other neighbouring local governments," said Kõlvart. “Therefore, we will relax the restrictions in multiple stages and follow the criteria recommended by the Health Board as well as the easing decisions of the Government. A step-by-step approach gives us an opportunity to monitor the situation and, if necessary, change the course of the plan. ”

Starting Monday, May 11, the opening of outdoor gyms, stadiums, playgrounds, outdoor skate parks and dog walking areas will begin in Tallinn. Playgrounds and outdoor gyms will be cleaned and gradually opened after that. "Only areas from which tapes and surrounding temporary fences have been removed may be used. In this case, the Tallinners can be sure that the attractions have been thoroughly cleaned," emphasized the Mayor.

Outdoor stadiums and sporting areas of the city's sports bases will be opened for outdoor training for groups of up to ten people, the availability of disinfectants, cleaning of surfaces and personal protective equipment for employees has to be guaranteed. The rowing centre and the outdoor area of the botanical garden will also be opened. Schools will have the opportunity to open their stadiums from Monday if the school administration is ready to ensure compliance with the 2 + 2 rule and disinfection. It is also possible to return books borrowed from the central library from Monday without direct contact. On May 11, the Tallinn Mental Health Center will start offering special rehabilitation services following all requirements and using personal protective equipment.

In the second stage, the branches of the central library, museums, the City Archive and the Vital Statistics Department, and the interior exposition of the Botanic Garden will be opened from 18 May. The outdoor exposition area of Tallinn Zoo will be accessible from 19 May, the indoor area will be open to visitors from 1 June.

Distance learning will take place in the schools and hobby schools of Tallinn until the end of the school year, but from May 18 it is possible to start contact lessons, one-on-one or in small groups of up to five people. Hobby schools, where contact lessons restart on May 18, will start to give out invoices for the services provided. No invoices will be issued in those hobby schools where distance learning will continue after 18 May. Schools will also continue to distribute school food packages until June 3.

In youth centers, the same safety requirements apply in outdoor conditions as in schools and hobby schools, only one-to-one activities are allowed indoors, and compliance with the 2 + 2 rule, disinfection and personal protective equipment for employees must be ensured for outdoor activities.

At the Tallinn Family Centre, on-site counselling will start again for those families for whom the it is urgent. The centre will also organize meetings between the child and the separated parent as a contact service in critical cases and on the same principle, offer family reconciliation service.

Funeral services will be possible in the chapels of Pärnamäe, Liiva, Siselinna, Rahumäe and Metsakalmistu starting from May 18, on the requirement that the number of family members, relatives and friends present is limited to ten people.

In the third stage, from 1 June, the day centres of elderly and social centres will be also reopened, the list of services to be provided will be specified in May. You can visit the interior of the zoo and open up public beaches and the Aegna ferry line. As of 1st June, Aegna island ship route will be reopened, as well as public beaches and the interior spaces of the zoo.

"We are awaiting the decision of the Government of the Republic regarding the opening of sports halls, saunas and swimming pools and cultural centres," the Mayor noted, adding that the Government's decision on the maximum number and conditions of major events is needed.

The Mayor emphasized that when implementing all the measures of the exit strategy, it is important to keep in mind that the requirement to comply with the 2+2 rule and to provide personal protective equipment for employees and disinfectants for customers continue ,must continue.

Finally, Kõlvart stated that despite the easing of the emergency situation measures, we must also get ready for the possible second wave of the virus outbreak. „It may seem like a pessimistic approach, but it is better to be ready and rejoice that nothing happened than to be in a situation where the second wave has arrived and our readiness is incomplete," the Mayor added.

The official plan for lifting COVID-19 containing restrictions of Tallinn can be found here: Tallinn's COVID-19 restrictions exit strategy

For more information on the measures taken due to the spread of COVID-19 check our designated webpage HERE