The Government of Estonia approved new stricter restrictions on education and youth work from 11th March. In addition to current restrictions, children in grade 1 to 4 must transfer to distance learning. Hobby education, youth work, trainings, courses and adult education is not allowed indoors. Parents are encouraged to keep their children at home from pre-primary education institutions, kindergartens and nurseries.
The situation with COVID-19 is critical in Estonia – infection rate is rising, hospitals are overloaded and there are new infected people in all age groups. Restrictions apply at least for a month from 11th March to 11th April.
General, vocational and higher education
Grades 1 to 4 must transfer to distance learning from 11th March. Preparatory in-class lessons are not allowed for grades 9 and 12.
Grades 5 to 12 as well as vocational and higher education students continue from distance.
Only students who need additional help, have special educational needs or are participating in practical training, exams or tests are allowed in school premises. Olympiads are not allowed at least until 11th April. As an exception, students of grades 1 to 4 are allowed in school premises if there is a justified need.
Social distancing must be practiced, masks must be worn and the fulfilment of disinfection requirements must be guaranteed indoors. Masks are not mandatory for children under 12 years of age or those who cannot wear a mask for health reasons, or if it is impossible due to the nature of an activity or for other valid reasons. The restrictions do not apply to students who received enhanced or special support, to institutions adapted for them or to the activities of disabled people and students with special educational needs.
Parents are encouraged to keep their children at home from pre-primary education institutions, kindergartens and nurseries. Everyone must reduce their daily contacts due to the high spread of COVID-19. This means that whenever possible, children should be kept at home. Pre-primary institutions must remain open to children whose parents or caretakers cannot work from remotely.
It is crucial to ensure a place at a pre-primary education for parents who perform critical tasks: police, fire department, rescue service, health, ambulance, infrastructure, social services, food store, transportation etc.
Hobby and adult education, youth work
Hobby and adult education and youth work are not allowed indoors. 2+2 rule must be followed at outdoor activities, which do not apply on families and situations where it is not possible to enforce such rule.
Ministry will send additional guidelines to all educational institutions tomorrow, 10th March 2021.