Road traffic volumes in Estonia have fallen by a third as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Road Administration (Maanteeamet) says, providing data between March 6, after the first coronavirus cases had been detected in Estonia but before the government declared an emergency situation, and March 27, to back up its claims.
The emergency situation itself was declared late on Thursday, March 12.
Whereas the authority's traffic count points recorded 668,558 vehicles on Friday, March 6, and 604,745 vehicles the following Friday, just after the government declared an emergency situation, on Friday, March 27, the figure stood at 430,713.
The decline mainly results from a decline in passenger car traffic, with a fall in the number of vans and buses on the roads the next most influential, and truck traffic falling the least, the authority said.
On Friday, March 6, the Road Administration recorded 514,719 cars at its counting points, and on Monday, March 9, 409,163.
On the Monday following the declaration of the emergency situation, March 16, the number of cars had fallen to 312,583, with 318,673 being counted on Friday, March 20.
On Monday, March 9, the authority counted 72,999 vans, compared with 47,126 a week later and 56,012 on Monday, March 23.
While public transport is still running in Estonia, figures have fallen, from a range of 6,200-7,100 during pre-emergency situation weekdays, to 4,416 on Friday, March 27.
As noted the volume of truck traffic has changed very little since the state of emergency: 66,604 trucks were counted on March 6, 64,325 two weeks later (March 20), and 64,798 last Friday, March 27.
Trucks obviously convey essential goods among other things; their drivers are generally exempt from the travel restrictions between countries.
At Sillamäe, in Ida-Viru County, there were 6,740 vehicles counted on March 6, compared with 4,252 on March 27, a 37 percent drop.
At the authority's counting point in Murat, South Estonia, the figure fell from 782 vehicles on March 6 to 372 on March 27, the bulk of which (294) were trucks.
In Tallinn, the number of vehicles counted on Peteburi tee, in the direction away from the capital, fell from 19,000 on March 6 to 15,000 on March 27.
Finally, a similar picture was painted at the Peetri measurement point on the Tallinn-Tartu highway, where the volume fell 41 percent, from 32,000 vehicles on March 6 to close to 19,000 vehicles on March 27.
The Road Administration has 98 fixed counting points nationwide.
Editor: Andrew Whyte