Tallinn municipal police not to fine non-mask-wearers on public transport

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A MuPo operative aboard a Tallinn bus. Source: Tallinn Municipal Police

Tallinn's Municipal Police (MuPo) will not be issuing fines for non-compliance with a requirement to wear face-masks or similar nose/mouth coverings on public transport.

MuPo will also not be able to require an individual exit the bus, tram or trolleybus, though they will be reminded of the requirement, MuPo chief Aivar Toompere told BNS.

Toompere said: "In the light of the government's order, we will continue our activities; however, instead of a strong recommendation, we will underscore that wearing a mask is now obligatory.

MuPo chief: Mask-wearing a matter of conscience

Toompere added that face-mask wearing was ultimately a personal choice to be made in the light of public conscience on the issue, as coronavirus numbers in Tallinn and Harju County continue to rise.

He said: "Municipal police officers will not order anyone to exit public transport or mete out a fine for not wearing a mask. It is up to each person and their conscience to protect themselves and their fellow citizens."

MuPo, more familiar to many users of public transport in issuing fines for not purchasing a travel ticket, or not having the travel card which would entitle the user to free public transport on the capital's system about their person, is a separate organization from the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), one whose powers have come in for scrutiny in the past.

While its personnel often request travelers to alight from the bus, tram or trolleybus they were using, in order to complete the paperwork in issuing a fine, they will be unable to do so regarding masks.

Wearing a face-mask on public transport has been mandatory from the start of this week, and also applies to other indoor public spaces such as shopping malls. As an alternative to wearing a mask, travelers are permitted to cover their mouth and nose with another suitable item, such as a scarf.

The requirement is nationwide and not just in Tallinn.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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