Ratas on 'Ringvaade': Businesses, people of Saaremaa waiting for visitors ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Jüri Muttika in front of the Kuressaare Sports Center
Jüri Muttika in front of the Kuressaare Sports Center Source: ERR

ETV broadcast "Ringvaade" reporter Jüri Muttika undertook a tour of the major western island of Saaremaa after restrictions imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) were lifted.

In Kuressaare, Muttika met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), who recommended that all people travel to the Estonian islands this summer.

"I think that there are many undiscovered places in Saaremaa which we would all like to visit this summer. I sincerely say that Saaremaa is now open again and I believe that the establishments and people of Saaremaa and Muhumaa, but more broadly: Hiiumaa, Vormsi, Kihnu and Ruhnu, are expecting the Estonian people," Ratas said.

Free protective face masks were handed out in the Saare store of the supermarket chain Selver, but Triin, a volunteer, said that some people do not want the mask. "They don't offer an explanation, they just walk past us," she added.

Riho Räim is receiving follow-up treatment in Kuressaare hospital. "I couldn't say that the coronavirus is not a serious disease, as it behaves differently for each individual. It should not be taken lightly. I've only had a few things in common with other patients I have communed with - we all had a fever and lost our sense of taste. Other symptoms have been different," Räim told Muttika.

The segment (in Estonian) can be seen here.

26 Saaremaa residents have died so far after contracting COVID-19. Saare County, which includes Saaremaa and Muhu islands, has an approximate population of 33,000 and has a rate of 164.91 rate of infection per 10,000 people. 

The state has allocated €1 million to support the tourism sector on the islands and €500,000 to micro and small enterprises. €1 million is planned to support the revenue base of local governments and €3 million for investments.

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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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