Major events planned for Tallinn through to the end of July are to be canceled or postponed, the city government says, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including sporting events.
"We had great plans for celebrating Tallinn Day on May 15 that we have to forgo, but we are trying to come up with some interesting alternative activities, for example, the traditional Tallinn dictation event will take place online this year," said Tallinn deputy mayor Vadim Belobrovtsev (Center), according to a city government press release.
Belobrovtsev noted that the city cannot make decisions for entrepreneurs, but it is hoped that all will understand how serious the situation is and follow the same principles.
Belobrovtsev added that the decision had to be made because it is still unclear whether and when the infection will be contained both in Estonia and worldwide.
"Major events would bring a lot of guests from all over the world – this poses a risk of a new wave of infections. This is why we had to cancel events that have become a [summer] tradition, such as Tallinn Day, Old Town Days and Maritime Days, as well as many international sports competitions," Belobrovtsev continued.
"In addition, the city is prepared to host free events over the course of the summer that can be organized keeping in mind the situation and measures in place during that time – we most definitely wish to provide quality entertainment for our citizens also during this difficult time."
Sporting events postponed or canceled include the IRONMAN triathlon scheduled for early August (which has been postponed to early September as things stand), the White Nights Trophy International curling competition, the Tallinn One Day Mixed Doubles Challenge, the Elegance Cup international gymnastics competition, the 17th World Deaf Chess Championship and Baltic Futsal League matches, the deputy mayor said.
"I believe that if we all continue to make an effort via avoiding direct contact and adhering to all measures of the emergency situation, autumn will welcome us with a rich cultural program," he added.
Other major sporting competitions already off the table include the International Ice Hockey Federation's U18 World Championship and a table hockey world tournament cup.
Organizers of Maijooks, the annual mass run for women starting at the Song Festival Grounds, are still to make a final decision after the government gives new guidelines on hosting public events, the city government said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte