Person fined for illegally crossing the Latvian-Estonian border ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Estonian-Latvian border, crossed by a forest road. Crossing illegally will now result in a fine.
Estonian-Latvian border, crossed by a forest road. Crossing illegally will now result in a fine. Source: ERR

Small roads crossing the border between Estonia and Latvia are off limits under the coronavirus emergency situation restrictions, unless anyone crossing the border wishes to self-quarantine for 14 days after crossing the border, in either direction.

Many such roads are known only to locals, and can also lead to an unwitting border crossing, since markers are often placed some distance from the road.

In one case, near the official Ikla crossing in southwestern Estonia, as reported by ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera", an individual crossed the border, prior to the crisis open, since both countries are in the Schengen Area, and was apprehended by the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and fined.

"Yes, the Western Prefecture [of the Police and Border Guard Board] knows about this road, and yesterday we detained someone crossing the border illegally," said Nils Sempelson, the western prefecture's operational staff chief, on "Aktuaalne kaamera".

"We have initiated a misdemeanor procedure and the individual was fined via expedited procedure. We are aware of this road, we have patrolled there and plan to continue," he added.

Sempelson said the individual was likely reluctant to have to quarantine for 14 days after entering Estonia from Latvia, as the current restrictions would required.

"As the person arrived from the Republic of Latvia, we have to impose the same restriction on him as on any others, ie 14 days' stay at home," Sempelson said.

Sempelson emphasized that compliance with the requirements are subject to police control and should be borne in mind by anyone returning from abroad, including Estonia's nearest neighbors.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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