Ferry line Tallink sold tickets for over 3,000 travelers on the Tallinn-Helsinki route on Monday, a figure two times higher than on other recent weekdays and following a lifting of restrictions at least on the Estonian side of the Gulf of Finland.
Tallink's communications manager Katri Link told ERR Monday that more than 3,000 people would be traveling between Tallinn and Helsinki on Monday, the first day that restrictions put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic were lifted in Estonia, though their lifting is still pending in Finland.
"By our estimates these travelers are divided across eight departures, making an average of 400 travelers per trip, which is, in comparison with other days, quite a lot," Link said.
Link said, and added that the week after next will see sale of return tickets.
Link added that most likely a lot of people are waiting for the Finnish government's decision on alleviating travel restrictions, something which could be clear on Wednesday, she said.
Figures still have some way to go before recovery to pre-pandemic levels on the Tallinn-Helsinki ferry route, however, Link said; this time last year as many as five times more travelers could be seen on the same route.
"We had 14 ships per day traveling, and something in the region of 10 to 15,000 people traveled per day," she said.
Starting on June 1, it is possible to travel from Finland to Estonia without having to undergo quarantine. This is the case with over 20 other EU, EEA and Schengen Zone nations, whose reported COVID-19 infection rates stand at below 15 per 100,000.
Tallink services between the two capitals were largely dormant from April 11, when Finland closed its border, to mid-May when services started to resume, for instance to accommodate those Estonians who live and work in Finland but who are domiciled in Estonia. As the borders closed, such individuals had to choose which side of the Gulf of Finland to stay on, at a time when it was not clear how long the coronavirus emergency situation was going to last.
Editor: Andrew Whyte