Police chief: 25 people punished for not sticking to restrictions

PPA Director General Elmar Vaher. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The police have launched misdemeanor proceedings against 25 people who did not obey police officers' orders to stick to the 2+2 rule, Police and Border Guard Boad (PPA) Director General Elmar Vaher said. Under the 2+2 rule, no more than two people may be out together and must maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from other people.

Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday, Vaher said that the police's goal is to prevent anything that could promote the transmission of the novel coronavirus, and in order to do so, they have increased the number of police patrols from 90 to 130. On Tuesday, however, which was sunny and particularly warm, a total of 200 patrols were out on Estonia's streets and roads.

According to the police chief, the majority of people are following the rules and acting reasonably, but police have had to use force in a few isolated incidents. "We have punished 25 people with misdemeanor proceedings that clearly did not understand how to follow this requirement, acted aggressively and resisted police officers' orders," he said. "We have imposed penalty payments on three people."

Police have also issued precepts over non-compliance with 2+2 requirements on 69 occasions.

A total of 5,600 people are currently required to be under mandatory two-week quarantine in Estonia at the moment, all of which have been diagnosed with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or arrived home from abroad.

Police have made 360 housecalls and 12,000 phone calls to ensure compliance with quarantine orders.

"We have generally discovered that people are following requirements and are being responsible," Vaher said. "We have issued precepts 22 times. We have also issued penalty payments on two occasions — of €500 and €2,000."

Police have also identified 50 people who cannot cope with their daily activities and need local government assistance with the purchase and transport of groceries and medicines, for example; local governments have been informed about these people.

Vaher said that eight members of the PPA have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

He noted that the police have appointed 500 police officers to reserves, with officers switching out every two weeks, and that a majority of them are working from home.

According to Vaher, the PPA goes through more than 8,000 protective masks per day, and that critical reserves of masks are currently guaranteed through April 12.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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