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Guidelines for Tartu residents

Guidelines for Tartu residents

Dear residents of Tartu!

In light of the declared state of emergency, we have compiled the decisions and all gathered information onto this web page. These guidelines are important to follow, so that together we could all help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Everyone’s contribution is very important to having fewer people infected. Let’s be considerate towards ourselves as well as those around us.

Urmas Klaas
Mayor of Tartu

The following guidelines will be updated on a running basis.


  • Due to the emergency situation, all general education and hobby schools will continue to operate via distance learning until the end of the school year. In exceptional cases contact learning may take place in schools in the City of Tartu for students with special needs, preparation for examinations, completion of study assignments, for students that have fallen behind in their studies, and to complete practical training.
  • Kindergartens will remain open, but the city government recommends that families keep all children home if possible and plan for the possibility of kindergartens also being closed. Only children who are in good health may be taken to kindergarten. Children who have travelled abroad with their families must stay at home for two weeks.
  • Since the coronavirus experience so far shows that it is most dangerous for older people, we ask you not to call on grandparents or other elderly persons to care for children kept at home.

Culture, sports and leisure

Starting 24 March, the Tartu City Government decided to close all of the athletic fields and playgrounds owned by the city, along with other publicly used gathering places, in order to the prevent the spread of the corona virus.

The Government Emergency Committee decided that at least 2 meters distance between people should be kept in public places, such as outdoor playgrounds, sports grounds, beaches, promenades, health and hiking trails and indoors, except in homes and when this cannot be ensured. Up to two people are allowed to be together in public space. This restriction does not apply to families living and moving around together, and to people performing public duties. Read more

The Tartu City Government has decided to open outdoor gyms, all outdoor athletic fields and playgrounds owned by the City, on 1 May.

The following are closed:

  • All museums, cinemas and other cultural institutions.
  • The Tartu City Library. The library information phone number 736 1380 works Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and e-mails can be sent to laenutaja@luts.ee. Books can be returned to the return boxes. Books that have been requested or queued for will be on hold until the library is open again, but new orders and requests through ESTER will not be accepted. Overdue fees will not apply until the situation returns to normal. All library events will be cancelled. (OverDrive is a free service offered by Tallinn Central Library that lets you borrow e-books and audiobooks in English and Russian from the digital collection. See more)
  • Children’s play centres.
  • Pools, water centres, spas, saunas (incl. the Anne sauna).
  • Sports halls, gyms, sports clubs, stadium facilities, artificial turf fields.
  • All entertainment venues, for example bowling and billiard halls, night clubs, casinos, slot machine halls, hookah cafés, adult clubs, will be closed.

Plays, concerts, conferences, sports and athletic events are prohibited. 

Culture you can enjoy at home. Read more

Social welfare

  • Day centres for the elderly are closed.
  • Visits to nursing homes are prohibited.
  • The provision of essential social assistance will continue (incl. receiving applications for subsistence benefits, home care services, day care for dementia patients, etc.).
  • The regional centres of the departments of social affairs and health (Staadioni 52, Anne 44, Rahu 15, Vaksali 14) are open on Mondays from 3 to 6 pm and on Wednesdays from 8 am to 12 pm. The city government urges citizens to make personal appointments only under circumstances of dire need and, if possible, first contact these departments by phone 736 1300 or e-mail sto@raad.tartu.ee.

Notice elderly persons living alone - bring them food and leave it behind their door or notify us of a person left in need.



  • In shops that remain open people must adhere to the principle that they may move alone or in pairs and keep at least 2 meters distance from other people.  Shops, post offices, pharmacies and service providers must ensure that people waiting behind the door follow the 2 + 2 rule and that there are no queues. 
  • Disinfectants must be provided at the location where the disinfectant is most needed of all shops which remain open. Stores that are open must enforce this rule.
  • Restaurants and bars should be closed at 10 pm in the evening, and that only take-away and home delivery will be allowed after that time.
  • The Tartu market hall is open.
  • The Tartu Public Library will open its doors on 11 May.
  • As of 11 May, sales spaces, service points and catering establishments within shopping centres may reopen.

How to behave at the market and in shopping centres:

  • Visit shops as seldom as possible, make a list of necessary items for a longer period.
  • If possible, visit the store during off hours.
  • Keep at least 2 meters distance from other people.
  • When shopping, do not touch goods (both packaged and unpackaged) for no reason.
  • Unpackaged fruit and vegetables must be washed thoroughly. Washing packages is also recommended.
  • Avoid using cash for payment of purchases.
  • Use home delivery services as much as possible.
  • After visiting shops, make sure to properly wash your hands.

If you are ill, you cannot go to the store or the pharmacy. Don’t delay buying medicine until you are ill.

Food delivery

Based on the need to minimize contact between people, the Tartu City Government recommends that you avoid visiting shops and instead order delivery of food to your home or a parcel machine, if possible. If visiting a shop is unavoidable, it is recommended that you carefully plan your shopping list and also plan ahead. The City Government is also calling on people to help family members and relatives who lack the ability or skills to place orders online.

The page is being updated on a continuous basis.

Public transportation and waste management


  • City buses are disinfected on a regular basis.
  • In the interest of the bus drivers, you cannot:
    • buy tickets from the drivers
    • enter through the first door

The departures of buses have changed. Follow the schedule at tartu.peatus.ee
Due to the distance learning in schools, bus no. 5 will not be in service from March 19.

Tartu Smart Bike Share 

The city is doing its best to make the use of Smart Bike Share system bicycles as safe as possible during the period when viruses are spreading, and will be disinfecting the bicycles every day, as required, at bicycle docking stations and in the workshop. Smart Bike Share system users must also be responsible and comply with important health safety regulations:

  • if possible, wear gloves when riding,
  • after you have finished riding the bicycle, wash or disinfect your hands immediately,
  • keep your distance from other road users at bicycle docking stations and while riding the bicycle,
  • the 2+2 rule also applies to Tartu Smart Bike Share bicycles; don’t ride in groups.

waste management

  • In connection with the spread of the coronavirus is the waste disposal station situated in Jaama street 72c closed. Waste disposal station situated in Selli street 19 is open.
  • Very important - please don’t collect waste separately by type if you are sick or suspect that you have been exposed to the virus. All waste must be placed in a plastic bag, sealed carefully and thrown away as mixed municipal waste (subject for incineration or landfilling).

Work organisation at the City Government

  • Residents will not be seen in the facilities of the city government. Services will be provided by phone and electronic channels.
  • The provision of essential social assistance will continue. For more details, see the section on social welfare.
  • Services that require personal presence will continue as well (for example, entering into marriages, registering divorces). Wedding registrations will not include ceremonies and gatherings at the Tiigi Street 12 location.

Town Hall Information Centre

  • The client services at the Town Hall information centre have been stopped. You can contact client services by calling 1789 or writing infokeskus@tartulv.ee.
  • In addition:
    • Bus cards can be purchased at R-kiosk. Tickets and money can be charged to the bus card at R-kiosk, on the website tartu.pilet.ee or using your mobile phone.
    • For discounts on bus fare, send documents proving eligibility (certificate of disability, for example) and a copy of your personal ID to the info centre e-mail at infokeskuse@tartulv.ee.
    • For free bus cards, please call or send an e-mail.
    • Long term parking cards can be purchased at parking machines or at the website parkimine.ee.
    • Silver spoons for babies and pictures of ceremonies will not be issued until the end of March.
    • Parking and bus fines can be disputed by sending a digitally signed claim/objection to the e-mail vtm@raad.tartu.ee
    • The visitor centre at the Tartu Town Hall is closed. You can contact the centre by e-mail and phone  (Mo 9 -18, Tu-Fr 9 -17:, Sat-Su 10 -14), info@visittartu.com, tel 744 2111.

Keep calm and stay healthy!


The City of Tartu opened an environment on its homepage, where it is calling on people in need, people ready to help and citizens’ initiatives to make themselves known. Information is awaited from anyone who is ready to contribute to helping others or who knows someone who is in need of help during the crisis. The city is also awaiting information on citizens’ initiatives that are focused on assisting fellow city residents. All volunteers definitely need to be healthy and ready to contribute their time in accordance with specific agreements.

Additional information www.tartu.ee/tartuaitab (In Estonian)

Information about Coronavirus disease COVID-19

The national coronavirus crisis hotline is 1247.

  • If you suspect that you have been infected with the coronavirus, you should contact your general practitioner (GP), ask for assistance through the GP hotline 1220 (if calling from outside of Estonia: +372 634 6630) or in case of need, call the ambulance at the emergency number 112.
  • COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of the flu. The virus may cause coughing, fever, and trouble breathing.
  • The best defence against infection is washing hands and avoiding contact with infected people.
  • After returning from abroad, you have to stay in home isolation for 14 days.

Read more about the coronavirus on the website of the Health Board.

Emergency situation

Last changed 12.05.2020