The government declared an emergency situation in Estonia until 1 May

Tallinn, Stenbock House, 12 March 2020 – The government has declared an emergency situation due to the pandemic spread of the coronavirus in the world and the likely further spread of the virus within Estonia. Unless decreed otherwise by the government, the emergency situation remains in force until 1 May 2020.

The changes in the normal routine affect, among other things, schools, cultural activities, and cruises. No public events are allowed.

“The absolute priority of the government is the protection of the health of the Estonian people in the current situation,” stressed Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. “The emergency situation is necessary to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Estonia in the most efficient manner. The state must be able to provide its citizens with clear and, if necessary, mandatory instructions to help limit the spread of the virus.”

The prime minister added that the actions of the state alone are no longer enough to overcome the crisis. “We have come to the point where every person must contribute to the protection of public health. I understand the inconvenience the emergency situation imposes on all of us, but this is not just about protecting the health of people, but also about saving lives.”

Jüri Ratas added that since the spread of the virus is a complex phenomenon that affects many different areas in Estonia, dealing with it requires extraordinary measures. “In addition to public health, it is vitally important to ensure the efficient and prompt resolution of the economic problems related to the spread of the virus,” said the prime minister.

“The emergency caused by the spread of the virus can no longer be resolved without the implementation of the command organisation provided in the Emergency Act,” he added.

The proposal to declare a emergency was made by a government committee headed by the prime minister. The government committee will meet for a new sitting on Friday, 13 March.