Fear of quarantine sees surge of Estonian customers at Latvian border shops

Alcohol for sale at an Alko1000 store in the border town of Valka.
Alcohol for sale at an Alko1000 store in the border town of Valka. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

There was an increase in Estonian customers visiting alcohol shops on the Latvian border this week due to fears the Latvian government would impose a two-week quarantine on anyone crossing the border from Estonia.

ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) on Friday that car parks outside alcohol shops the Latvian-Estonian border were full of Estonian cars on Friday. Politicians in both countries had thought it likely Latvia would impose movement restrictions on Estonia from Saturday after a surge in coronavirus cases, but this was narrowly avoided on Friday.

Jolanta Branta, manager of the Ainaži SuperAlko store, told AK Estonians had been the store's biggest customers.

"Now, after the second week of August, Finnish customers returned to school and no longer come to the store, now we only have Estonians and there are more Lithuanians than usual and people who are on holiday," said Branta.

Customer Tarmo visited the store on his way back to Estonia from Latvia. He said in addition to Estonians, there are also Finns and Latvians in the shop, and there was also a car with a German license plate in the parking lot. 

"This is international stuff, everyone is equal when drinking. But there are mostly Estonians. But of course, this is because Latvia is on Estonians' doorstep," he said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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