By Tony Winterburn • 09 March 2021 • 22:17
Estonia Closes Shops And Restaurants As COVID Cases Continue Rising. image: Estonia Tourist Board
Estonia Closes Shops And Restaurants As COVID Cases Continue Rising.
The Estonian government has banned groups larger than two people today, Tuesday, closed non-essential shops and told restaurants to switch to take-aways as part of a drive to contain a massive surge in COVID-19 infections.
Primary schools will have to switch to online education, which was mandated to older students earlier this month in the Baltic nation of 1.3 million battles the second-highest per capita rate of infections in the European Union after the Czech Republic.
The government said it had recorded 1,336 COVID-19 cases over the previous 14 days per 100,000 people, more than twice the level seen a month ago and a fifth more than last week when it told restaurants and many shops to close during the weekend to control the surge.
The new restrictions, which come into effect from Thursday, will stay until April 11. “The fresh data shows that the more aggressive British variant of the coronavirus is spreading more seriously in Estonia than previously predicted. Our medical system is in a crisis,” said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
“This is the only way to come out of the crisis. How fast we manage to do that depends of the behaviour of each individual”.
As of Tuesday, Estonia had reported a total of 77,491 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 669 deaths, including 54 deaths over the previous week. Estonia had taken a comparatively relaxed approach, with schools, museums, restaurants and shops allowed to open with few restrictions.
However, in early March, as the cases continued to mount, the education system switched to distance learning for all but primary schools, the government then shut down swimming pools, cinemas, saunas and casinos.
Situated in northeastern Europe, Estonia juts out into the Baltic Sea, which surrounds the country to the north and west. To the east Estonia is bounded by Russia—predominantly by the Narva River and Lakes Peipus and to the south, it is bounded by Latvia
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