The Easter break will see many who would normally visit their country houses, particularly on the island of Saaremaa, unable to do so due to the government's coronavirus restrictions. Ferries between the mainland and Saaremaa and Muhu are carrying around 100 passengers per day, about a tenth of what they would normally do at this time, according to ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera".
On Friday, passeners embarking both at Virtsu on the mainland, and Kuivastu on Muhu, the primary entry point to that island and Saaremaa, which is joined to it by a bridge, had to present ID for checking, including that their trip was essential. This led to some being turned away, said Rainer Antsaar, head of the Kuressaare Police and Border Guard (PPA) department.
Trips are one-way only, Antsaar added, for the duration of the emergency situation, currently set to end by May 1.
"If you want to come to Saaremaa today, you have to make a one-off choice between the mainland and your place of residence on Saaremaa. If you want to come to Saaremaa, you must be aware that you will not be able to return to the mainland until the movement restriction ends."
Entry to Saaremaa and Muhu is barred for all but residents.
"No paper-based permits are being issued anywhere. Everything is electronic. An ID document must be presented at the port, then things are clear," Antsaar went on.
Ten PPA patrols per day work on Saaremaa, with precepts issued on nine occasions as of Thursday, to those who had not complied with movement restrictions. The latter are even more severe than on the mainland, and include permission to leave home only for essential errands.
Editor: Andrew Whyte