Government denies Tallinn curfew social media rumors: 'This is not true' ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Stenbock House, the seat of the Estonian government.
Stenbock House, the seat of the Estonian government. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The government on Monday denied claims Tallinn is about to be locked down, or a curfew imposed, which have spread on social media with people claiming to have seen roadblocks being built on the outskirts of Tallinn. The city government is actually installing temporary traffic lights and renovating an intersection.

Lock-downs have been in imposed in France, Italy and Spain to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Residents are quarantined in their apartments and only allowed out to go to the pharmacy or supermarket, at most.

Estonia's western islands also currently have movement restrictions which only allow permanent residents access.

Rumors started spreading over the weekend on Facebook and concerned citizens called ERR on Monday morning saying they had heard the Defense Forces will shut down Harju County and Tallinn, alcohol will stop being sold, or there will be a total movement ban or curfew. Some said they had seen roadblocks being built at the edge of the city which would be in force after 4 p.m. on Monday.

A statement issued on Monday afternoon by the government said: "The government refutes false information on social media networks that the city of Tallinn is about to be closed. This is not true."

In the statement, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said he hoped people would rely on trusted sources of information at this time.

He said: "This is false information and its deliberate distribution is not permitted. Deliberately panicking and misleading people is extremely dangerous, especially in times of crisis."

Mariann Sudakov, a government communications spokesman, said Tallinn will not be locked-down.

She explained: "The city of Tallinn is rebuilding the intersection at Astangu and temporary traffic lights will be installed there. The traffic lights require concrete bases but they do not restrict traffic and only keep the traffic lights in place."

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Editor: Helen Wright

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