The government’s crisis committee decided on Thursday that all schools of Estonia will shut down from Monday, according the “Aktuaalne kaam”
Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps said that starting Monday, all schools, hobby schools, vocational schools and universities will be closed. This means that learning will switch to home and distance learning.
Kindergartens will remain open, but the government advises parents to leave children home if possible.
Whether or not kindergartens will be shut is to be decided on a case-by-case basis.
The minister said that the crisis committee’s decision will remain in effect until the situation normalizes, while the government will review every two weeks whether that is necessary or not.
According to Reps, it has been decided in principle that large-scale events will be restricted, schools will be closed, checks will be reintroduced on the borders. The dispute in the committee is over legal nuances.
“Never has a state of emergency been imposed in the Republic of Estonia, and this here is an emergency situation. Just, in reality, it’s about interpreting the Constitution, but I dare to say it to you — the decision has been made in principle already,” the minister said.
Reps said that while the borders will not be closed, people will have to fill in a questionnaire on the border on where they are coming from.
The traffic of passenger ships will continue, but passengers will be asked to provide documents in ports and therefore procedures there may take longer, she said.
As regards Saaremaa, the Health Board will keep an eye on the situation. There will be rearrangements in ferry traffic, the minister added.
The government has not planned to close shopping centers for now. Reps said that the centers themselves have to adjust their activities.
“Probably we will impose restrictions on major gatherings there as well,” she added.