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New restrictions for hobby activities will be applied in Tartu

As of 30 November, groups of indoor hobby activities, plus hobby-related tuition as well as indoor sports and training groups, may not consist of more than ten people. Any contact between different groups must be prevented. When engaging in any indoor hobby activities or hobby-related education, masks must be work. This requirement is not applicable to children under twelve years of age or if a mask cannot be worn due to the nature of the activity.

The Health Board’s southern regional department has established these restrictions based on a proposal from the City Government of Tartu. ‘The county-wide data for new COVID-19 cases within the past fourteen days shows that the number of confirmed cases for each 100,000 people in the city of Tartu has increased considerably faster than the Estonian average,’ said Tiia Luht, head of the Health Board’s southern regional department.

The highest number of infection cases from Tartu are from the 10-19 and 30-39 age groups, and the number of cases from the under ten year-old age group is also increasing. A significant share of those cases which involve minors have been connected to their taking part in city-wide hobby or sports activities. Through those activities the virus has reached Tartu’s schools and the parents of the children. At this point, there is one active hobby activity-related outbreak in Tartu which has spread the virus to a number of general education schools in the city. 

According to Urmas Klaas, mayor of Tartu, the situation in Tartu is worrying. To attempt to combat it, the city’s authorities have proposed that restrictions be set for hobby activities. ‘It is very import to halt the spread of the virus during the current period in which the trend is upwards. Young people from different schools get together in connection with hobby groups and sports practice, which results in the rapid spread of the virus,’ added Klaas.

As of 25 November, twenty-eight schools in the city of Tartu have partially or fully switched to distant learning due to their pupils or teachers having tested positive for COVID-19 or having come into close contact with infected individuals (over 2,100 pupils are learning distantly or self-isolating, while sixty-seven classes have been switched to distant learning, and more than 150 teachers are self-isolating). Also as of 25 November, there are two active outbreaks involving over five individuals in the schools of the city of Tartu. There are also several infection cases which are connected to schools and involve less than five individuals.

As of 30 November, indoor hobby activities and hobby-related educational activities are only permitted on the administrative grounds of the city of Tartu if the following conditions are met:

  • the number of participants in a group does not exceed ten people and where the risk of any contact between different groups has been prevented.
  • masks are worn indoors, although this requirement does not extend to children under twelve years of age or to any individuals who cannot wear a mask due to health-related reasons, or due to the nature of their work or activities, or due to other justifiable circumstances.
  • any objects which are in general use are cleaned after each use.
  • the service provider ensures the availability of sanitising products and guarantees that disinfection requirements are observed pursuant to the Health Board’s guidelines.

Sports practice and training sessions are only permitted on the administrative grounds of the city of Tartu if the number of participants in a group does not exceed ten people and if any risk of contact between different groups is properly prevented.

The restrictions will remain in force until 10 January 2020 or until such time as they are cancelled. 

Sports practice and training in indoor conditions is also subject to all those restrictions and requirements which are laid out in order No 282 by the Government of the Republic of Estonia on 19 August 2020: ‘Measures and restrictions which are required for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19’.

Further information: Urmas Klaas, Mayor of Tartu. Tel: 736 1221, or 513 5145.

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COVID-19 blog, 23 July: eighty-four new positive test results have been added within the past 24 hours

The last 24 hours have seen 2,842 tests being analysed in Estonia in relation to coronavirus, of which the results of eighty-four (3.0%) of the initial tests were positive. A full 7,753 vaccine doses were also administered within the past 24 hours. In total, 612,683 individuals have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Estonia, and 538,011 individuals have now received both doses. A total of 55.4% of the entire adult population has received at least one vaccine dose.