Tallinn pub bans MPs, to highlight effects of COVID-19 restrictions

Front of Mad Murphy's Irish Pub and Grill in Tallinn's Raekoja plats
Front of Mad Murphy's Irish Pub and Grill in Tallinn's Raekoja plats Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Government coronavirus restrictions have hit Tallinn's pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels hard, but one such establishment in the heart of the Old Town has issued a restriction of its own, in barring Riigikogu MPs service.

Mad Murphys, a well-known Irish pub, grill and sports bar on Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats) made the announcement on its social media account Thursday afternoon.

"We here at the bar have decided to behave as intelligently as the government, and to prevent the spread of stupidity, all members of parliament shall now no longer be served in our fine establishment," Mad Murphy's wrote.

"This ban shall remain in force until February 2021 when we shall review the situation. We hope that this message is spread far and wide, and that other bars and restaurants will also implement this ban," the post added.

The most recent restriction imposed via government order, rather than legislative process, requires entertainment establishments to close at midnight. This superseded an earlier order for halting the sale of alcohol, but not closing the premises.

Bar owners in Tallinn and Tartu have in the past complained, not about the restrictions themselves, but poor communication in their implementation, and what they say is the arbitrary and hasty way in which regulations have been initiated.

When tourist numbers started falling away in spring, due to travel restrictions meaning even visitors from neighboring Finland fizzled up, authorities and businesses alike aimed to encourage domestic customers in the old town, as prices dropped and rental relief was granted, at least to tenants of city-owned properties. However, many businesses continue to struggle, not least as coronavirus rates rise and new, harsher regulations may be round the corner.

A spokesperson for Mad Murphy's told ERR News they hoped other businesses would get on board with the initiative, so it remains to be seen if MPs will be confined to the Riigikogu cafe as the festive season approaches.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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