The government declared an emergency situation on 12 March 2020 due to the pandemic spread of the coronavirus in the world and the likely further spread of the virus within Estonia. Emergency situation remained until 17 May 2020.
Ministry of Rural Affairs FAQ
Entrepreneurship and work
What kind of assistance is provided to farmers?
- loan guarantees to the agricultural and food sector and for loans already granted to farmers (a total budget of 50 million euros);
- revolving business loan to companies operating in rural areas to overcome liquidity problems caused by the outbreak of coronavirus (total budget of 100 million euros);
- land capital support for owners of agricultural land for sale-and-leaseback transactions to overcome liquidity problems caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus (a total budget of 50 million euros).
What should I do if I urgently need seasonal workers in a farm?
What are the opportunities for third-country citizens to work on Estonian farms? How much is the salary?
- Betle Grupp OÜ, Gunnar Tärn, 56466014, firstname.lastname@example.org Harju County (berry farming)
- Kaskema Talu OÜ, Thomas Hainsalu, 56687247, email@example.com Rapla County (berry farming)
- Anneli OÜ, Anneli Aasna, 5205403, firstname.lastname@example.org Viljandi County (cucumber farming)
- Joosepi Talu, Ranet Roositalu, 5042310, email@example.com Põlva County (berry farming)
- Laari Talu OÜ, Kadri Nebokat, 5084676, firstname.lastname@example.org Tartu County (berry farming)
- Kindel Käsi OÜ, Helen Kaskema, 5088172, email@example.com Tartu County (berry farming)
- Aran PM OÜ, Paavo Otsus, 5513279, firstname.lastname@example.org Tartu County (berry farming)
If I get state support due to the reduction of employment or loss of employment in the emergency situation, can I do some seasonal agricultural work? If yes, will I still get my benefits?
Are all labour market measures available for businesses active in agriculture, fisheries and rural development?
- The employer must have suffered at least a 30% decline in turnover or revenue for the month they wish to be subsidized for, as compared to the same month last year.
- The employer is not able to provide at least 30 percent of their employees with work.
- The employer has cut the wages of at least 30% of employees by at least 30% or down to the minimum wage.
What actions do I need to take to apply for the subsidy?
What measures are available for sole proprietors? Will I be eligible for tax incentives as a sole proprietor? What actions should I take?
What kind of support measures are available for the agricultural and fishing sector in the EU?
Common Agricultural Policy
Common Fisheries Policy
Can Lithuania suspend dairy deliveries from Estonia?
What changes have been made in the working procedures of the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) and in ARIB payments and conditions regarding COVID-19?
What should stores, shopping centres and catering establishments keep in mind?
What should food producers keep in mind?
- Avoid close contacts.
- Follow safe food management practices.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
- Ensure proper hygiene.
- Comply with normal cleaning and ventilation requirements.
- If possible, recommend that employees keep at least 2 metres distance from each other.
- Minimise the exposure of employees belonging to risk groups to other employees.
- In case of risk of infection, clean and disinfect the company premises to prevent the spread of the disease among employees.
- Hands should be washed with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds and at least every 2 hours.
- Hands should be washed and sanitised before and after the use of rubber gloves.
- Disinfectants must be in a visible place and easily accessible for the employees.
- Wash the clothes at the highest temperature allowed for the fabric.
- Clean the footwear after each shift.
- Use disposable working clothes, if possible.
Can a food operator ask for guarantees from suppliers regarding virus?
What to do if an employee is infected with COVID-19?
How much food should I stock up at home?
How long will stores have enough food supplies?
How will food aid be ensured to people who have become ill in areas outside the coverage of online stores or without people to bring them the supplies?
What kinds of food supplies should I stock at home?
Transmission through food
Can COVID-19 transmit through food?
What should people offering home deliveries keep in mind when transporting to people in home quarantine?
- Make sure you are well and in good health.
- Disinfect or thoroughly wash your hands before and after going to the store.
- Deliver produce that needs to be stored in a refrigerator of freezer as quickly as possible to avoid excessive heating or defrosting of the product.
- Use the nearest store to offer assistance to avoid spending too much time on the transportation of food.
- Do not damage, break or bruise the packaging.
- Deliver the food without direct contact with the customer.
- Keep at least a 2-metre distance while handing over the delivery.
Can a person become ill when coming into contact with food which has been handled by a person infected with COVID-19?
It is highly unlikely that a person would contract COVID-19 from handling food. In addition, according to the European Food Safety Authority there is no evidence that food products could be a source of a virus or a way to transmit the virus.
As with all other contact surfaces that have been contaminated as a result of exposure to a sick person, it is theoretically possible that foods can also lead indirectly to an infection when in contact with food. Therefore, it is important for everyone to follow the advice of the Health Board when washing hands (PDF).
Staff who handles food (for example, slice meat, dairy products, clean fish, package fruit and vegetables) must wear gloves and change them often, or wash their hands often.
Clients in stores should bear in mind not to touch food which they do not intend to purchase. This will help prevent the contamination of food with possible pathogens on their hands.
Should I clean goods and packages bought from the store? If so, how?
Is it possible to reduce the potential risk associated with COVID-19 virus due to food eaten at home?
Transmission through animals
Can animals be infected with COVID-19?
Can an animal be infected with COVID-10 through food?
Can people be infected with COVID-19 through contact with animals?
Is handling animals safe?
What should animal keepers know in relation to COVID-19?
- Special work clothes and gloves should be worn when handling animals and fresh meat.
- Work equipment and workplaces that are used should be regularly disinfected (at least once a day).
- Protective clothing should be removed and cleaned after a job is completed. It is advisable to keep work clothing/protective clothing and other work equipment at the workplace and clean them on location.
Is the free movement of goods in the EU and with third countries ensured? Can agricultural products be imported to Estonia and can they be exported out of the country?
There was a problem with the certificate of a product during import and there are difficulties in sending the original certificate on time due to the suspension of air traffic. Is it acceptable to use a copy of the original certificate during the crisis situation?
- If the country outside of the EU has access to the EU’s TRACES system, then they can send it through that;
- If the country outside of the EU does not have access to the EU’s TRACES system, then a copy of the certificate will need to be sent directly to the email address of the border-crossing point from the email address of the competent authority of the foreign country. The list of suitable border-crossing point is available on the homepage of the European Commission (DG Sante) and are the following:
What should be taken into consideration when travelling with a pet?