Ida-Viru County leisure businesses want help over COVID-19 rules compliance

A spa center in Narva-Jõesuu, Ida-Viru County.
A spa center in Narva-Jõesuu, Ida-Viru County. Source: ERR

Tourism operators in Ida-Viru County have asked for monitoring for coronavirus compliance from the authorities, at a time when both rising coronavirus rates in the county, one of the worst-hit regions of Estonia are coinciding with larger numbers of people from the rest of the country "discovering" Ida-Viru County while they cannot easily travel abroad.

Businesses say they are worried about beint potentially forced to close if they are found to be transgressing requirements not clearly communicated by the government and authorities in the first place.

Terje Rattur, founding member of the Ida-Viru County Tourism Cluster and manager of the Maetaguse Manor Hotel, told ERR Saturday that: "Whereas a few years ago only people from Harju County or Tallinn found their way here, now we can see very many visitors also from Tartu County and elsewhere in South Estonia."

This trend, which would have begun in spring, runs the risk of colliding with the significant outbreaks in most of the county's larger towns.

"There are major corona outbreaks in Narva, Sillamäe, Jõhvi, Kohtla-Järve, but these are within a narrow circle of institutions," Rattur went on.

"We have taken many measures and hope now that the government, instead of threatening us with the disease, would start monitoring service sector companies, because it is true that there are indeed many business operators who knowingly flout these requirements."

The latest round of restrictions come into force today, Saturday, and require sports training, "hobby" education and other leisure tuition be on a one-to-one basis, as opposed to groups of up to 10 (trainer included) in the rest of the country. Exemptions include activities involved defense forces personnel, the presence of family members and sessions for special needs children.

Businesses elsewhere, particularly in the entertainment sector, have been previously critical of the manner in which coronavirus restrictions are implemented, often more than of the restrictions themselves.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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