State does not allow Tallink to restart Tallinn-Gotland route ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Tallink's Megastar, usually a passenger ferry, was used to transport cargo through most of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tallink's Megastar, usually a passenger ferry, was used to transport cargo through most of the coronavirus pandemic. Source: Andres Raudjalg/Tallink

The government has not given permission for Tallink to restart the Tallinn-Gotland route because data from the State Chancellery shows the situation with the coronavirus is too risky, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu on Thursday.

Speaking at the government's press conference, Reinsalu (Isamaa) said: "We in the government discussed Tallink's wish. Tallink's starting point was that there are two infections in 100,000 people in two weeks, [but] the State Chancellery found that there are 30 infections."

He said the route would not be granted permission if the infection rate was over 25 in 100,000 people.

Reinsalu said the government agreed they would discuss the numbers at next week's meeting with the coronavirus expert group.

"If we are sure that we do not run an excessive risk of spreading the virus, then we will provide international transport connections," he added.

CEO of Tallink Paavo Nõgene told ERR in an interview the company wishes to start traveling from Tallinn to Gotland on July 5.

Nõgene sad that although the coronavirus rate in Sweden is 70 per 100,000 for the last two weeks, on the island of Gotland on the country's east coast it is much lower.

"We have asked the government to analyze the island of Gotland separately under this criteria. And if this infection rate falls short of the established criteria, ie 15 infections as an average of two weeks per 100,000 inhabitants, then Tallink wants to offer trips to Gotland from 5 July," he said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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