Saaremaa, Muhu restrictions eased from Tuesday ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Kuressaare city center
Kuressaare city center Source: ERR

The emergency situation restrictions concerning the islands of Saaremaa and Muhu will be eased from Tuesday and additional special permits will start to be issued for movement between the mainland and Estonia's western islands.

Compared with the present, restrictions will be lifted on services requiring close contact, such as cosmetic surgery services, beauty and personal services, such as barber's, hairdresser's, manicure, pedicure, beautician's, tattoo and tanning salon services, as well a massage and other rehabilitation services as wellbeing services.

The easing of the restrictions means that stores and markets will again be entitled to be open similar to the mainland. 

Also the movement restriction whereby residents of the islands must stay at home, being allowed to go out only to visit a grocery store, a pharmacy or to see a doctor, and go to work in absence of the possibility of remote work, will be lifted. 

The overall 2+2 rule will be preserved, however. 

The regulations concerning movement to and from the islands will not return to usual yet.

The person in charge of the emergency situation, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), decided considering a request from the Saaremaa municipality to issue special permits for transit to the islands in the following breakdown per day: 25 permits for Saaremaa, 5 permits for Muhu, 20 permits for Hiiumaa, and 10 permits for Kihnu, Ruhnu and Vormsi each. The special permits are valid for one return journey.

The proposals for the issuance of the permits are to be made by the municipality.

The order enters into force from Tuesday and will be made public upon signature.

Estonian Minister of Justice Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) deemed warranted the government's decision to reopen the link between Saaremaa and the mainland.

"The reason why restrictions in Saaremaa have worked thus far is largely that people have been behaving responsibly and complied with the set restrictions," Aeg said, adding that if stringent measures were to go on for unreasonably long, people's attitude towards them will change, which may facilitate the spread of the virus.

"We must keep a constant eye on the impact of relaxing restrictions on the spread of the infection and the health of people in at-risk groups; however, restoring a normal pace of life and economy is important as it ensures work and income for people," he said.

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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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