Wednesday 5/12/21
REOPENING

Estonia slowly reopens as in-store shopping and outdoor dining resume

Indoor events remain largely prohibited, with some exceptions made for sports.
A view of the Old Town of Tallin. Photo: Pixabay.
A view of the Old Town of Tallin. Photo: Pixabay/file photo.

Stores, museums and restaurants serving outdoor dining reopened in Estonia on Monday thanks to the Baltic country's improving coronavirus situation.

Elementary schools and some high school classes were also allowed to resume in-person teaching.

Indoor events remain largely prohibited, with some exceptions made for sports. When inside, the rules state that only two people may be together and must keep a distance of 2 metres from other people.

In the capital Tallinn, according to local media, many people were drawn to shopping centres and home improvement retailers on the first day of the new rules.

On the other hand, restaurants and cafes with outdoor terraces saw few customers want to sit outside in the cold spring weather.

Doubts about profitability kept other restaurateurs from setting up outdoor tables and chairs.

Many cultural, recreational and entertainment facilities remain closed.

Estonia, with a population of 1.2 million, imposed a lockdown in March, but a decline in new infections prompted the government to gradually ease the restrictions.

A total of almost 123,000 cases have been recorded since the start of the pandemic. More than 1,100 people have died.

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