Police take to drones to enforce 2+2 coronavirus rule

Members of the public in Lasnamäe on Thursday, filming a police drone filming them.
Members of the public in Lasnamäe on Thursday, filming a police drone filming them. Source: ERR

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has been bringing the message of the so-called 2+2 rule to the streets of Lasnamäe, by using drones.

The rule, which comes as part of the government's emergency situation measures aimed at taming the COVID-19 coronavirus, refers to two meters' distance which should be kept from others when in public, and the maximum number of people permitted to congregate in public (i.e. two, families excepted).

The PPA is concerned that the rule is not being followed, particularly by young people gathering in parks in Lasnamäe, the largest residential district in Tallinn, who then "forget" the regulations.

The drones, operated in conjunction with the Tallinn Municipal Police (MuPo), auxiliary police officers and private security firm USS, fly right down among groups of youngsters in an effort to disperse them, and capture those nearby on camera.

Teili Piiskoppel, PPA prevention specialist said the public was generally sympathetic to the presence of the warning drones and paid heed to them.

"So far, in the few hours we've been operating outside, the situation has been quite satisfactory. However, there is a somewhat low movement of people [in any case]. The weather is also having its effects - it's quite windy," she told ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Thursday.

The new method of patrolling has led to more concrete steps too, Piiskoppel added.

"So far, we have issued some official warnings to young people, and escorted some minors home. There are also those who we have talked to and have then been able to nicely separate," she added.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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