The Government of Estonia approved additional new restrictions on educational institutions, hobby education and education. Pre-primary education institutions, daycares and schools for students with special education need to remain open. Additional restrictions apply to Ida-Viru county.
“All restrictions aim to reduce the number of contacts between people in order to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and protect health,” said Jaak Aab, the minister of education and research. “It is crucial to bear in mind that everyone's behavior matters: we need to reduce contacts, cancel gatherings, behave responsibly and spend holidays in a small number of immediate relatives,” he added.
Restrictions on educational institutions
Students and learners are forbidden to be in the buildings of general, vocational and higher educational institutions from 14th December to 31st December, except staff members. Schools are allowed to transition to distance learning.
Preprimary education institutions and daycares remain open similar to schools with majority students with special education needs.
The pre-holidays week can be used to repeat the most important topics and fill possible gaps, especially in upper secondary grades. All kinds of creative activities and distance learning methods can be used for primary and basic level grades. It is important to understand that distance learning is not just studying in front of a computer but rather a combination of different activities and methods, similar to studies under normal circumstances.
Only students with a need for special educational support (consultations for better learning outcomes) who engage in practical learning, take exams or tests, or take part in an olympiad are allowed to be in the premises of educational institutions.
Two people are allowed to be and move together given that there is 2 meters between next two people, unless the circumstances do not allow to implement 2+2 rule. Mask is not compulsory for people under 12 years old and people who are unable to do so given their health condition, work or tasks. Densification solutions and rules shall be present and implemented in accordance to the regulation by the Health Board at all times in the building.
The general education schools can change the duration or time of a school holidays in accordance to the Basic and Upper Secondary School Act. One must note that changing the up-coming holidays results in a change of the following holidays given that there are four holidays per academic year: total number of holiday weeks is 12 and summer holiday lasts for 8 consecutive weeks.
Restriction of hobby and adult education
Youth work, hobby education and adult education activities are allowed only in individual manner or from distance from 14th December to 3rd January. An individual class between a teacher and students is allowed and their activity must be separated from other individual learners.
One must follow the 2+2 rule during the individual learning and teaching. Everyone must wear a mask in case of a contact in-person learning activity. Mask is not compulsory for people under 12 years old and people who are unable to do so given their health condition, work or tasks. Densification solutions and rules shall be present and implemented in accordance to the regulation by the Health Board at all times in the building.
Restrictions do not apply for the activities for people with disabilities.
Learning groups of 10 people (+ teacher/trainer/mentor) are allowed in outdoor adult or hobby education activities. This does not apply for the Ida-Viru county where activities are only allowed in individual manner.
Youth work, hobby and adult education is allowed only from a distance in Ida-Viru county from 12th December to 3rd January. Outdoor activities are allowed only in an individual manner.
Restrictions do not apply on the activities related to the interior and defence affairs, and people with disabilities.
Studies resume on the 1st of January and restrictions on general, adult and hobby educations resume to the state of pre-14th December on 4th January unless the Government of Estonia decides otherwise.
- The Act (in Estonian)
- Additional guidelines to educational institutions (in Estonian)
- General COVID-19 information for educational institutions (in Estonian)