Mall visitors not following mask requirement

Ülemiste center.
Ülemiste center. Source: ERR

New restrictions established due to the spread of the coronavirus didn't hinder people from shopping recently at one of the most popular malls in Tallinn without wearing masks. Chief of the Ülemiste center, Guido Pärnits, finds that people are not complying with the mask requirement voluntarily.

At of midday Monday, November 16, there didn't seem to be many masks on display at the Ülemiste Cente. Even though security guards should remind the public to wear masks, about half of the visitors didn't take this too seriously, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported.

"I even thought today that everyone visiting the mall will be wearing masks, I sincerely hoped it would be like that. But I see it is not. Many people are not taking the recommendation seriously," Pärnits said and added that in his estimation, about half of the people were wearing a mask.

Most of the people who weren't wearing a mask didn't want to explain why are they ignoring the guidelines given by the Health Board (Terviseamet) and the government.

"On the one hand, I would like to say it is the right choice, the government's decision to enable the cultural events to take place is very good. In that sense, the masks are definitely helping," musician Oleg Pissarenko - who wasn't wearing a mask, and admitted that getting used to wearing a mask will take time - said.

"The mask should be worn just in case. If there's a chance of avoiding something negative, we should follow the requirements," Janne said,

At the Radio restaurant, a quarter of the tables were not in use, due to the dispersal requirement.

"The are fewer places in the restaurant; people are more dispersed. We are trying to continue offering delicious food. It is hard, every visitor helps, but we are hoping things will recover soon," Radio's sommelier Tanel Turk said.

"I still think we should support the local restaurants and service. We can see that restaurants are going along with the requirements. Of course, the question during the night time is how long should people stay in one place, how to spend the time," Indrek discussed.

Guido Pärnits thinks that only the force of law would make the people wear masks, a recommendation on its own is not enough.

"It was stressed that this is a recommendation etc... and then it is not taken seriously. An obligation should have been established, then the picture would be a little different," Pärnits went on.

Eliisa Metsoaja, Expert of the Health Board's Influenza Center, told AK: "We are monitoring the situation and if it really turns out that it's not getting better and people are not taking things seriously, then we will have to move forward with the next steps and think about more effective measures."


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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