PPA turning 100 drivers per week away from border crossings ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Narva border checkpoint.
Narva border checkpoint. Source: PPA Ida prefektuur

Traffic at Estonia's borders during the emergency situation has decreased 10-fold but the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) are still turning away approximately 100 vehicles a week.

A total of 180 people have been turned back at the Latvian and Finnish borders, the PPA said.

Today, 60 police officers and 30 volunteers are guarding the internal borders of the European Union in Estonia. A total of 180 people are on call per day.

Major Egert Belitchev, the head of the Integrated Border Management Bureau of the PPA (PPA), said the board has reorganized its activities. As the work on the Russian border has been significantly reduced, some of the border guards there have been brought to secure the former Schengen internal border with Latvia.

The number of border crossings has dropped sharply and people are no longer come to Estonia for fun.

"If we look at the internal and external borders together, it will be between 1,500 and 4,000 depending on the day of the week. Before the crisis, about 4,000 people came to Estonia via the Narva border crossing point, but after the restrictions have been set, 2,000 people a week enter Estonia via the European Union's external border (Russia)," he said.

According to Belitšev, there are also significantly fewer returns from the border than in the initial period of the emergency. "A lot of people have understood these restrictions, and they are not trying to come to Estonia. Traffic at the borders has decreased ten times. About 100 people are sent back from the border every week," he said.

Belitšev said the emergency border guard has been a life-saving operation for the PPA which has had its workload increased during the emergency situation.

"We have also put 500 people in reserve, whose job is to stay at home, not to get sick and come to replace others on the front lines if necessary," Belitšev said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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