Tallink: It is not yet known when ferry services to Stockholm will resume

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MS Baltic Queen.
MS Baltic Queen. Source: ERR

Ferry tickets to Sweden can be bought on Tallink's website from June 1, but departure dates may still change.

Katri Link, Tallink's communications manager, told ERR ticket sales on the Tallinn-Stockholm route are open, but it is not known when ship traffic can fully recover. The plan to reopen the route on June 1 was based on the emergency situation ending on May 1.

"It was originally a plan according to the initial end dates of the crisis, but the situation has changed and we make decisions on an ongoing basis," Link said.

Link said the exact dates depend on the decisions of the authorities.

She added currently cargo is being transported to and from Sweden through the port at Paldiski, where passengers with cars can also board the ship. 

Foreign minister: Removing restrictions not happening in next few days

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) says easing restrictions is not something that will be done in a matter of days, due to concerns over that country's approach to the coronavirus pandemic and not imposing strict restrictions as in most other European countries.

"We have discussed this with the Swedish [foreign] minister [Ann Linde]. It is important for us to get information about the spread of the virus in Sweden, and we are ready to provide our own information. These decisions and mitigation in Sweden depend on the virus' spread, and our understanding of the scoped for the virus spreading here to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We are also discussing the issue with Latvia and Lithuania. Is this [easing of restrictions] now a question of the coming days? Certainly not," Reinsalu told ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Thursday night.

Tallink: If/when line reopened, will be a reduced service to begin with

If the line is opened, it will probably not operate the same frequency of ships as before, Tallink says.

"We have planned that initially probably once a week, both the Tallinn-Sweden route and the Riga-Stockholm route [will run]." said Tallink board member Piret Mürk-Dubout.

"This would more or less satisfy the primary needs, insofar as we have received feedback from customers via surveys," Mürk-Dubout added.

The proposed vessel to Sweden will also be subject to the same restrictions as when sailing to Finland, whither routes have started reopening this week, at least for purposes of employment travel between Estonia and Finland.

"We're still practicing social distancing. Naturally, hand disinfection will be in place, and food will not be openly on display - there will be a buffet choice, but the service procedures will be different. The same measures apply to slot machines and children's play areas, but all catering establishments and shops will be open, service is simply via sales staff," she went on.

The emergency situation in Estonia will end on Sunday.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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