The Estonian Government has agreed on new measures and rules to solve the COVID-19 crisis. The objective of these rules and measures is to ease the patient overload in hospitals and control the epidemic spread of the virus. New rules and measures are in place from Monday, the 25th of October until the 10th of January 2022.
For vaccinated people, the changes, and restrictions are minimal, like wearing face masks. There'll be more restrictions for non-vaccinated people, for instance, access to entertainment, culture, and eating out will be limited. Hospitals will get more financial support to get through the crisis. To increase the vaccination pace, family physician centres and local governments get financial support as well.
Face masks must be worn indoors
With the government's decisions, face coverings like scarves, collars, or similar, are not enough indoors, but face masks must be worn. People, without them, have no permission to enter to the shops or service areas.
In addition, it's recommended for people 12 years and older to wear face masks in events where vaccination is controlled, like cinema, theatre, and concerts. The protection against coronavirus is only when medical masks or the ones equal with them are worn, therefore it's recommended to wear only them.
Business owners must guarantee the dispersion on their selling and service areas. In supermarkets, seating, and play areas are recommended to close temporarily.
Working from home is highly encouraged for vaccinated and non-vaccinated people.
Control measures for non-vaccinated adults
From now on, the valid COVID-certificate includes proof of full vaccination or recovery of COVID-19. Therefore, people who are not vaccinated or haven't had the COVID-19, can't participate in organized activities where COVID-certificate is obligatory.
These activities include workouts and training, youth activities, hobbies, hobby-education, professional development, and education, also sports competitions or physical activities, public saunas, spas, pools, water parks, and swimming pools, public gatherings and events, theatre, conferences, concerts, museums, exhibitions, eating out and other entertainment.
Support to increase vaccination and help hospitals manage crisis
Financial support to hospitals
The government supports raising the extra bed-day fee for hospitals, by 75%. The measure is valid from October to December 2021. Its cost is 11,79 million euros, and it'll be taken from the Health Board's reserve capital, which needs to be restored in the new year.
Financial support to the family doctors
The government pays 5 million euros for the reserve of purpose funding to pay performance fees to family physicians to increase the percentage of vaccinated people among the age group 60+ and over. The Ministry of Social Affairs, The Estonian Health Board, and the Estonian Family Physicians Association will create the funding criteria.
In addition, the government supports paying extra vaccination fees to family physicians centres. Up to 120 vaccinations, it's 5.30 euros, but since the 121st dose, it doubles and will be 10.60 euros. School nurses are also entitled to that support. The measure is valid until the 30th of November 2021. The expenses are about 415 000 euros and will be covered from the budget of the health board.
Two-step support for local governments
Local governments, who increase the percentage of vaccinated inhabitants at least 10% since the 1st of October, will get 5 euros per vaccinated person even when at least 80% of the adult population is vaccinated. The measure is valid until the end of the year and the expectational expenses are about 11,5 million euros.
All measures and regulations are expected to be approved within the upcoming days.
The Government Communication Unit